Japan Exploring Our Solar System . . .
Planet-C Would Explore Venus' Atmosphere
Satellites Rockets Surveying the Moon Exploring Planets
Japan, the fourth nation ever to send a satellite to Earth orbit, became the third nation ever to send a spacecraft to Mars when it blasted off a probe called Planet-B in 1998. Now it is planning to become the third nation ever to send a probe to Venus with the launch of Planet-C in 2007.
Artist concept of Planet-B at Mars in 2004. Now Japan plans to send a similar probe, Planet-C, to Venus in 2007.
Venus orbiter. The Planet-C spacecraft will orbit Venus to study super-rotation of the planet's upper atmosphere. It also will measure atmospheric temperatures and look for evidence of volcanic activity and lightning.
If Planet-C can be launched in February 2007 on an M-5 booster from Japan's Kagoshima Space Center on the southern island of Kyushu, the spacecraft would make an Earth swingby in June 2008 and arrive at Venus in September 2009.
The science instruments aboard Planet-C will include ultraviolet and infrared cameras. The 700-lb. satellite also will leave home with 700 lbs.of fuel.
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