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Japan probe nears Venus orbit

A Japanese probe has made its final adjustments to enter orbit around Venus on a multiyear mission that could shed light on the climate of Earth's mysterious neighbour.
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Akatsuki
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'Akatsuki' probe set to try and enter Venus's orbit

Japan's probe "Akatsuki" will attempt to enter the orbit of Venus on Dec. 7, and if successful it will become the first Japanese probe to orbit another planet.
On the morning of Dec. 7, Akatsuki will reverse the thrust of its engines for about 12 minutes, reducing its speed before attempting to enter an elliptical orbit around Venus.

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Japanese Spacecraft Approaches Venus

Although a parade of U.S. and Soviet spacecraft has visited Venus since 1961, no one yet knows how it became Earth's "evil twin." Did it suffer from a case of global warming run amok - or something else? When Akatsuki reaches Venus in December, it will begin to solve some of the mysteries hidden in the thick Venusian atmosphere.
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UNITEC-1 Signals Lost

UNITEC-1 was the first Amateur Radio spacecraft to head to another planet but no signals have been heard for several days.
Traveling with UNITEC-1 on its epic journey to Venus were the research satellites Venus Climate Orbiter (Planet-C) and Ikaros.

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Akatsuki heads for Venus

An H-2A rocket successfully blasted Japan's new planetary probe Akatsuki (daybreak) into orbit early May 21. Also sent into orbit were four small satellites developed by university students and the "space yacht" Ikaros, which will be propelled by sunlight.
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H-2A rocket blasts off with Venus climate orbiter aboard

Japan's H-2A rocket successfully blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Kagoshima Prefecture on Friday, with the country's first Venus climate orbiter Akatsuki and other satellites aboard.
The launch, which was jointly conducted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., marked the 11th consecutive successful lift-off of an H-2A launch vehicle.

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Japan has sent a sophisticated probe to Venus study its atmosphere in unprecedented detail.
The Akatsuki orbiter was put on a path to the inner-world by an H-IIA rocket launched from the Tanegashima spaceport in the south of the country.
The vehicle left its pad at precisely 2158 GMT (0658 local time Friday).
Akatsuki will arrive at Venus in December. Key goals include finding definitive evidence for lightning and for active volcanoes.

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The Japanese H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 17 has successfully launched with the Akatsuki and IKAROS spacecrafts

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Live broadcast (windows media player)

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