Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

IKAROS flew past Venus on December 8

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

14-12-2010 10:22 CST

Topics: IKAROS, mission status

Just after Akatsuki missed entering orbit, another spacecraft, IKAROS, quietly passed by Venus. The IKAROS blog update rate has dropped as the spacecraft has traveled farther from Earth, but they're still doing pretty regular posts on the position and spin rate of the solar sail mission. On Sunday they posted a trajectory diagram showing its path past Venus, which was bent by the planet's gravity.

IKAROS trajectory past Venus


IKAROS trajectory past Venus
IKAROS passed within 80,000 kilometers of Venus on December 8, 2010 at 07:39 UT, close enough for its trajectory to be bent.

I think that verification of the bending of the trajectory is pretty much all the data that IKAROS will return from Venus. I know some people were hoping for images but It doesn't have a camera system capable of the sort of pointing and narrow field of view necessary to frame Venus and see anything. It's just notable that the solar sailcraft is still stable and still talking to Earth!

See other posts from December 2010


Or read more blog entries about: IKAROS, mission status


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search


Advocate for Space!

Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.

Join over 27,600 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.

Sign Our Petition

Featured Images

Blue Origin New Shepard after first landing
New Shephard test flight and booster landing
Suni Williams and Doug Hurley in Crew Dragon
SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon on pad 39A
More Images

Featured Video

MISSIONS: Dawn In The Asteroid Belt With Marc Rayman

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!