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Making orbit ... slowly - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-12-08 10:54
Subject: Making orbit ... slowly
Security: Public
Japan's Akatsuki probe fails to enter Venus orbit.

Basically, it failed to slow down enough to go into orbit, and sailed on past.

On the other hand: "we may be able to try again when it passes by Venus six years from now", though given that the probe has a 4.5 year design life, that is a little optimistic.

It is, of course, now in a solar orbit that crosses Venus's orbit at ... I guess ... something of the order of 6 monthly intervals, so after a few orbits, it should indeed have another chance.
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Korenwolf
User: korenwolf
Date: 2010-12-08 22:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
that the probe has a 4.5 year design life, that is a little optimistic

Though on the flip side as I recall the mars rovers had a 9 month design life (or something or that order)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-12-09 10:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Indeed, which is why it's only a little.

What's most likely is that that lifetime is how long they expected it to do orbital adjustments and the like, and is a fuel limit. If they have to expend some of that fuel on the second orbital insertion, then there may be nothing left for tweaks.
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