JAXA Launches Weather Satellite to Venus
[Satellite TODAY 05-24-10] JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have successfully launched the Japanese meteorological satellite Akatsuki (Planet C) aboard a H-2A launch vehicle on May 21, JAXA confirmed.
The launch was originally scheduled for May 18. Akatsuki will study Venus’ atmosphere for two years after it enters the planet’s orbit in November.
According to JAXA, Akatsuki is the world’s first planetary meteorological observation satellite to study winds on Venus. “The satellite will explore the mechanism of the Venus climate by observing the atmospheric movement and cloud formation process. Ultimately, JAXA says this mission aims to deepen our understanding of the formation process of the Earth’s environment and its future by comparing Venus and the Earth,” the agency said in a statement.