JAXA, Japan’s space agency, has announced that their mission to Venus, Akatsuki, did not succeed in entering orbit as planned on December 6. Bill Nye, Executive Director of the Planetary Society, issued the following statement:
“The Planetary Society regrets that the innovative Akatsuki spacecraft seems to have missed its opportunity to lock into an orbit of Venus. Although Akatsuki has already accomplished some remarkable things on its voyage, this setback reminds us how difficult space exploration can be.”
Akatsuki carries on board names and messages from the public, including the members of the Planetary Society. Those names will continue their journey around the Sun with Akatsuki.