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Emily LakdawallaDecember 7, 2010

Akatsuki has failed to enter Venus orbit

There is a press briefing happening right now in Japan, and it's terrible news: Akatsuki failed to enter Venus orbit, nor will it be able to enter Venus orbit -- at least, not for at least 7 years, which is the next time it'll be back near Venus. It's a repeat of the sad fate of the Nozomi mission to Mars. What horrible luck.

Twitter is very active with reporting on the press briefing right now. My plan is to wait until tomorrow morning, then see what has developed over my night. During the Japanese day, I hope, news will become clearer about what exactly went wrong. In the meantime, I suggest following natsu_shigure on Twitter, who is translating Japanese blogger Koumei Shibata's Tweet's from the press briefing.

Space exploration is hard. It's a terrible shame. Hopefully they will manage to salvage some sort of science from this ambitious mission.

Bummer. Here is a Planetary Society statement on the news.

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Read more: mission status, Akatsuki (Planet-C)

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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