The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has been very active lately and will be well into the new year. Just before their plan to launch a dozen fish into space in 2011 JAXA will be launch a probe to explore and analyze the atmosphere and surface of Earth’s sister planet Venus.
The mission and probe is code named “Akatsuki” and “Planet-C”. The Venus Climate Orbiter aims to unravel the many mysteries of Venus with an emphasis on atmospheric dynamics and the probe will be packed with various state-of-the art optical and measurement instruments that will enable the exploration of the massive carbon dioxide atmosphere that is extremely hot due to the greenhouse effect and the ground surface which is thought to have been similar to earth’s at one point below the thick sulfuric acid cloud layer.
Akatsuki from Naruto Shippuuden
The geek gods would not have been satisfied unless I mentioned the only “Akatsuki” I knew before reading about this space exploration mission. This Akatsuki is a rather shady evil organization in Naruto Shippuuden – an anime and manga that I’ve been following for a loooong while now. To further increase my geek karma levels I’ve included a cool image of the 10 Akatsuki members below, most of them are dead now but that doesn’t matter right?
Probe size and Launch Date
JAXA plans to launch the rectangular probe â€” 2.1 meters in height, 1.45 meters in width and 1.05 meters in depth â€” next year from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.
More Information on Venus Climate Orbiter Mission