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BepiColombo Earth flyby

Europe and Japan's BepiColombo spacecraft, which launched in 2018, will fly by Earth on 10 April and use our planet's gravity to swing towards the inner solar system. Learn more about this mission and why we study Mercury.

Apollo 13 50th Anniversary

The Planetary Society is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13, which launched on 11 April 1970. Disaster struck on 13 April, prompting the crew's infamous "Houston, we've had a problem" call for help. Learn what happened, and how NASA got the astronauts home safely on 17 April.

More Apollo resources

Blogs & Articles

1000 Akatsukis; "Faulty valve caused Akatsuki failure"

Emily Lakdawalla • December 27, 2010

In a move that's kind of hard to understand in the wake of the immense public outreach success of the Hayabusa mission, JAXA is closing JAXA i, its public information center in Tokyo today (December 28 in Japan).

Akatsuki update: more detail on first failure report

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2010

Ordinarily it's not my thing to do so many updates on a mission that failed to arrive in orbit, but I know that it's difficult for English-speaking readers to locate information on Asian missions so I'm keeping up the reporting on Akatsuki.

Updates on Hayabusa and Akatsuki: second chamber opened, possible engine nozzle breakage

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2010

The Hayabusa update is brief: having opened the first Hayabusa sample return chamber (compartment A) last month, JAXA has now opened compartment B, and they found nothing inside.

Akatsuki update: Failure to enter orbit due to insufficient fuel pressure

Emily Lakdawalla • December 10, 2010

An English-language article in the December 11 Yomiuri Shimbun summarizes the news from the Akatsuki press briefing held at 11:00 December 10 JST (last night, my time). It's succinct and clear so I'm reposting it here.

Come back, Venus.....

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2010

This image is so, so beautiful, and so, so sad.

Akatsuki update, two days later

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2010

I've got two more pieces of information to share on Akatsuki further to what I posted yesterday. The first one is a worrying detail about what went wrong during orbit insertion.

Akatsuki update, a day after the failure to enter orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 08, 2010

JAXA held two press briefings about Akatsuki yesterday. Reports in both English and Japanese based on these press briefings have cleared up some, but not all, of the mystery about what happened and what is to happen with Akatsuki.

Akatsuki has failed to enter Venus orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 07, 2010

There is a press briefing happening right now in Japan, and it's terrible news: Akatsuki failed to enter Venus orbit.

Akatsuki update: safe mode, still talking to Earth, but slowly

Emily Lakdawalla • December 07, 2010

A press release (PDF) was posted in Japanese on the Akatsuki website this morning with some official information on the mission status. Here is a translation of the text.

Something has not gone right with Akatsuki, but they have communications

Emily Lakdawalla • December 06, 2010

I was unable to follow Akatsuki's entry into Venus orbit in real time due to family obligations. Checking in now, about four hours after it was to have entered orbit, it seems that something did not go correctly, but not much information is available.

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