This is an explore for Venus equipped with five cameras for photographing Venus’ atmosphere in infrared, the visible spectrum, and ultraviolet and an ultra-stable oscillator for observing altitude distribution such as for temperature. Using these six observational devices, the orbiter will investigate the presence of volcanic activity and lightning as well as the composition and flow of Venus’ atmosphere.
The Venus Climate Orbiter Akatsuki is equipped with five cameras for photographing Venus’ atmosphere in infrared, the visible spectrum and ultra-violet and an ultra-stable oscillator for observing altitude distribution such as for temperature and the probe will investigate the presence of volcanic activity and lightning as well as the composition and flow of the atmosphere while following an elliptical orbit around Venus, completing one orbit in about 10 days.
Venus is called “Earth’s sister planet” because it is roughly the same size as the Earth, but the atmosphere is close to 100 times the pressure of the Earth’s and it is covered by warming carbon dioxide. Violent winds called “super-rotations” which reach up to 100 meters per second blow violently in the upper atmosphere and the cause of these winds is still unknown.
The Akatsuki will seek to observe the meteorological phenomena of Venus in detail using its six observational instruments and the experimenters hope that they will be able to advance understanding about meteorological phenomena common to other planets besides Venus as well as understanding about why Earth’s atmosphere has formed as we know it now and what will become of it in the future.
|International Designation code||2010-020D|
|Objectives||Venus is the closest planet to the earth and is known as the "morning star" or "evening star." Venus is sometimes referred to as Earth's sister planet because of its similarity to the Earth in size and mass, but its climate is very different. Venus has a massive CO2 atmosphere which is extremely hot due to the greenhouse effect and is covered by sulfuric acid clouds.
There is no liquid water on the surface of Venus. The elucidation of the climate system of Venus will provide us with clues to explain how such a diversity of planetary environments has evolved in the solar system.
The Venus Climate Orbiter (PLANET-C project) aims to unravel the mysteries of Venus with an emphasis on atmospheric dynamics. State-of-the-art optical instruments will enable us to explore the deep atmosphere and the ground surface below the thick cloud layer.
|Launch Date||06:58, May 21, 2010 (JST)|
|Launch Location||Tanegashima Space Center (Minamitane-machi, Kagoshima prefecture)|
|Weight||500 kg (including fuel)|
|Shape||Approx. 1.5m x 1.0m x 1.4m
5.1m long from end to end of solar array paddles
|Orbital Altitude||PeriVenus: 1,000-10,000km
|Type of Orbit||Elliptical around Venus|
|Orbital Period||10.8 days|
|Scientific Instruments(Planned)||1.1-µm camera (IR1)
2.2-µm camera (IR2)
3.Longwave IR camera (LIR)
4.Ultraviolet imager (UVI)
5.Lightning and airglow camera (LAC)
6.Ultra-stable oscillator (USO/Radio Science)