Return to venus of the Japanese venus climate orbiter akatsuki

Masato Nakamura, Yasuhiro Kawakatsu, Chikako Hirose, Takeshi Imamura, Nobuaki Ishii, Takumi Abe, Atsushi Yamazaki, Manabu Yamada, Kazunori Ogohara, Kazunori Uemizu, Tetsuya Fukuhara, Shoko Ohtsuki, Takehiko Satoh, Makoto Suzuki, Munetaka Ueno, Naomoto Iwagami, Makoto Taguchi, Shigeto Watanabe, Yukihiro Takahashi, George L. HashimotoHiroki Yamamoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter/AKATSUKI was proposed in 2001 with strong support by international Venus science community and approved as an ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) mission soon after the proposal. The mission life we expected was more than two Earth years in Venus orbit. AKATSUKI was successfully launched at 06:58:22JST on May 21, 2010, by H-IIA F17. After the separation from H-IIA, the telemetry from AKATSUKI was normally detected by DSN Goldstone station (10:00JST) and the solar cell paddles' expansion was confirmed. The malfunction happened on the propulsion system during the Venus orbit insertion (VOI) on Dec 7, 2010. We failed to make the spacecraft become a Venus orbiter, and the spacecraft entered an orbit around the Sun with a period of 203 days. Most of the fuel still had remained, but the orbital maneuvering engine was found to be broken. We decided to use only the reaction control system (RCS) for orbital maneuver and three minor maneuvers in Nov 2011 were successfully done so that AKATSUKI will meet Venus in 2015. We are considering several scenarios for VOI using only RCS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012 - Naples, Italy
Duration: Oct 1 2012Oct 5 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
ISSN (Print)0074-1795


Other63rd International Astronautical Congress 2012, IAC 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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