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1. Short updates on Akatsuki and Chang'e missions

(Web Page; Fri May 18 14:31:00 CDT 2018)

A few recent newspaper articles provide some updates on the status of Japan's Venus mission, Akatsuki, and the service module of China's Chang'e 5 test vehicle, Xiaofei. In brief: Akatsuki still plans to attempt to enter orbit in Decembe...

Description: A few recent newspaper articles provide some updates on the status of Japan's Venus mission, Akatsuki, and the service module of China's Chang'e 5 test vehicle, Xiaofei. In brief: Akatsuki still plans to attempt to enter orbit in December of this year, while Chang'e 5 T1 is headed to lunar orbit. Meanwhile, the Chang'e 3 mission has released an interesting image of M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy.

2. Timeline for Akatsuki's second attempt at orbit insertion

(Web Page; Fri Dec 04 18:37:00 CST 2015)

This is it: Akatsuki's final chance at Venus orbit insertion. The rocket firing should begin on December 7 at 08:51 Japan time (December 6 23:51 UT / 15:51 PST) and last for 20 minutes. If for some reason the first rocket firing doesn't ...

Description: This is it: Akatsuki's final chance at Venus orbit insertion. The rocket firing should begin on December 7 at 08:51 Japan time (December 6 23:51 UT / 15:51 PST) and last for 20 minutes. It will take two days for JAXA to determine whether the orbit has been changed enough for Akatsuki to stay at Venus.

3. Akatsuki begins a productive science mission at Venus

(Web Page; Thu May 19 18:02:00 CDT 2016)

This post is a little delayed, but I hope it will still be welcome because the news is good: Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. Project manager Masato Nak...

Description: Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter is well into its science mission, and has already produced surprising science results. The mission, originally planned to last two years, could last as many as five, monitoring Venus' atmosphere over the long term.

4. A new mission for Akatsuki, and status updates for Hayabusa2 and Chang'e

(Web Page; Fri May 18 14:31:00 CDT 2018)

Here are brief updates on four ongoing missions: JAXA's Akatsuki and Hayabusa2, and China's Chang'e 3 and Chang'e 5 test vehicle. Japan's Akatsuki Venus orbiter will re-attempt Venus orbit insertion on December 7, 2015. Even if its orbi...

Description: Brief updates on four ongoing missions: JAXA's Akatsuki and Hayabusa2, and China's Chang'e 3 and Chang'e 5 test vehicle. JAXA has articulated the new science plan for Akatsuki. Hayabusa2's ion engines have checked out successfully. The Yutu rover is still alive on the Moon, and Chang'e 5 test vehicle has successfully tested crucial rendezvous operations in lunar orbit.

5. Two JAXA mission updates: Akatsuki Venus orbit entry and PROCYON Earth flyby coming up!

(Web Page; Thu Nov 19 17:51:00 CST 2015)

Akatsuki is finally approaching its second attempt to enter Venus orbit, on December 7. The mission is asking its fans to share messages and tweet #あかつき応援 ("Akatsuki cheer") in their support. Even astronaut Kimiya Yui is getting into the...

Description: Akatsuki is finally approaching its second attempt to enter Venus orbit, on December 7; let's all wish JAXA the best of luck! And PROCYON, whose ion engines have failed, is still an otherwise perfectly functional spacecraft that is taking photos of Earth and the Moon as it approaches for a flyby.

6. Akatsuki's new orbit, first images, and science plans

(Web Page; Tue May 29 15:33:00 CDT 2018)

JAXA held a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit -- an even lower orbit than they'd hoped to achieve. Akatsuki is Japan's first successful planetary orbiter. It's been a long time coming: to...

Description: JAXA had a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit. It's been a long time coming: today's announcement came twelve years to the day after Japan had to abandon efforts to put Nozomi into Mars orbit. They released lovely images and discussed future plans.

7. Two more brief mission updates: Philae makes contact; Akatsuki to perform course correction

(Web Page; Fri Jul 10 09:38:00 CDT 2015)

As a followup to yesterday's post about Dawn, Juno, and OSIRIS-REx, I have updates on two more missions. With this post, I hope to have cleared the decks so that I can focus on Pluto for the next week! Philae makes contact The Philae c...

Description: As a followup to yesterday's post about Dawn, Juno, and OSIRIS-REx, I have updates on two more missions. With this post, I hope to have cleared the decks so that I can focus on Pluto for the next week!

8. Back from the Brink: Akatsuki Returns to Venus

(Web Page; Mon Dec 14 20:19:00 CST 2015)

This article originally appeared on The Space Review and is reposted here with permission. Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet on Monday, December 7,...

Description: Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.

9. A new look at Venus with Akatsuki

(Web Page; Tue Jan 16 11:55:00 CST 2018)

Editor's note: This blog post is a collaboration between an image processing enthusiast (Damia Bouic) and three professional scientists (Thomas Widemann, Emmanuel Marcq, and Colin Wilson). Bouic has dived into a data set and processed im...

Description: Amateur image processor Damia Bouic shares a plethora of stunning new images of Venus captured by a Japanese spacecraft.

10. Akatsuki and IKAROS new launch date set

(Web Page; Thu Jul 10 10:36:00 CDT 2014)

According to the Akatsuki Twitter feed, the next try for launch of Akatsuki and IKAROS will be Thursday, May 20, at 21:58:22 UTC -- that's May 21 at 6:58:22 JST and May 20 at 2:58 in the afternoon my time. The rocket has been drained of...

Description: According to the Akatsuki Twitter feed, the next try for launch of Akatsuki and IKAROS will be Thursday, May 20, at 21:58:22 UTC.

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