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Japanese space probe fails to enter Venus orbit as planned

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Japanese version of NASA, apologized to the Japanese people on Wednesday when a space probe failed in its mission. The probe, known as Akatsuki, was supposed to enter orbit around Venus, but failed to do so.

The agency told the media that they lost contact with the probe temporarily just as it was about to enter the orbit. However, once they had re-established contact they discovered that the probe had failed to enter the probe as it had been intended.

Probe was to study Venus winds

The entire experiment was to last two years. The probe, about the size of a refrigerator, was to enter orbit around Venus and study weather phenomenon on the planet known as super-rotation. Venus is covered with clouds and has two huge hurricane-like storm systems in perpetual motion.

The probe was also supposed to study the sulfuric acid that covers the planet. The plan was also to study the weather patterns and look for evidence of lightning in the acid-filled storms. Finally, the probe had an near-infrared camera that would have been able to penetrate the thick clouds that cover the planet and get at least some data about its surface.

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