It’s Big in Japan Today

 

Excellent launch campaign by JAXA and Mitsubishi in getting AKATSUKI and IKAROS up. Check it out

日本初の金星探査機「あかつき(Akatsuki)」を載せたH2Aロケットが21日午前6時58分、鹿児島県の種子島宇宙センター(Tanegashima space centre)から打ち上げられた。当初18日の打ち上げ予定だったが、悪天候で延期されていた。

 あかつきは約半年かけて金星に到達する。5台の観測カメラを搭載し、金星から300~8万キロ離れた楕円(だえん)軌道上を周回して硫酸の雲などを観測する。

 同ロケットにはあかつきのほか、太陽光の圧力で宇宙空間を進む「宇宙帆船」、イカロス(Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation of the SunIKAROS)や小型衛星などが搭載されている。

What, can read Japanese? 日本語を読むことを学ぶ (Nihongo o yomu koto o manabu).

Read it on Universe Today

Japan’s first robotic mission to Venus and an experimental solar sail launched successfully from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The Venus Climate Orbiter, or Akatsuki, the IKAROS solar sail and several smaller payloads launched aboard an H-IIA rocket at 6:58 local time May 21 (21:58 UTC May 20). The video shows a very smooth-looking launch, and 27 minutes later, JAXA confirmed the successful separation of Akatsuki. Then, about 15 minutes after that, the solar sail canister separated.

"We would like to express our profound appreciation for the cooperation and support of all related personnel and organizations that helped contribute to the successful launch of the H-IIA F17," JAXA said in a press release.

Akatsuki should arrive at Venus in December. The IKAROS solar sail will be checked out before being deployed in a few weeks.

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