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Newest: Dec 09, 2003
Japan has given up on its first interplanetary space mission on the final leg of the journey to Mars. Officials have decided not to put the Nozomi space craft into orbit around the planet. Last-ditch attempts to fix an onboard electrical fault have failed, and the probe will be steered off into space.
Japan abandoned its troubled mission to Mars Tuesday, after space officials failed in their final effort to put the Nozomi probe back on course to orbit the Red Planet. The probe, Japan's first interplanetary explorer, was set to end a five-year journey when it reached Mars next week. But officials at JAXA, Japan's space agency, said Nozomi was off target and that they would try to fire its engines late Tuesday to save the mission. It would be their final attempt because the probe was short on fuel. JAXA spokesman Junichi Moriuma said the operation had failed, and that scientists had given up hope of salvaging the probe.
Japan abandoned its troubled mission to Mars on Tuesday after space officials failed in their final effort to put the Nozomi probe back on course to orbit the Red Planet. The probe, Japan's first interplanetary explorer, had been traveling for five years toward Mars and would have reached the planet next week. But officials at JAXA, Japan's space agency, said Nozomi was off target and that scientists gave up trying to salvage the mission after an attempt to fire the probe's engines failed because it was short on fuel.
Japan's trouble-plagued first mission to Mars is set to be abandoned in the latest of a series of costly failures to hit the country's space development programme, news reports and officials said Monday. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will make a final attempt on Tuesday to remotely repair electronic circuitry on the Nozomi probe damaged by a solar flare last year, which caused the main engine to shut down, officials said.
The first Canadian scientific instrument to travel beyond earth's orbit is in danger of becoming lost in space this week as it limps toward Mars on board a Japanese spacecraft. "It's definitely a big disappointment; we've put a lot into this," said Alain Berinstain, Mars project leader at the Canadian Space Agency. "But if you compare it to our Japanese colleagues, they have a lot more at stake here than we do." Japan's problem-plagued Nozomi orbiter is one of four spacecraft currently en route to the red planet.
Space experts are growing anxious that Japan may contaminate Mars when its beleaguered probe Nozomi reaches the Red Planet with a slight chance of collision on Dec 14, years behind schedule and plagued by technical problems. They say there is a roughly 1% possibility of Nozomi, Japan's first Mars orbiter, impacting Mars due to malfunctions with its electrical system and numerous other woes.
Japan's Mars probe is in trouble. Its weather satellites are breaking down. And its latest attempt to put a pair of spy satellites into orbit ended last weekend in a $92 million fireball. While rival China is basking in the glory of its first manned space flight, Japan's new space agency is off to a decidedly inauspicious start.
Japan's high hopes of joining the science-fest at Mars next year are rapidly evaporating, with only a slim chance the country's troubled Nozomi spacecraft will be able to brake for orbit. Engineers have just one more week to repair a damaged electrical system needed to warm fuel for Nozomi's thrusters. If the thrusters aren't fired, Nozomi will not be in position to go into orbit around Mars.
On June 19, the Mars explorer NOZOMI came close to Earth at a distance of approx. 11,000 km and implemented the earth swingby. This means that the "2nd swingby" in the NOZOMI's new orbit (see Fig. 1) was accomplished and, accordingly, we succeeded in putting NOZOMI into the orbit that enables to arrive at Mars in mid-December of this year.
Add one more problem to the beleaguered Japanese Mars probe, Nozomi. There are worries in some science quarters that the troubled spacecraft could possibly contaminate Mars. Nozomi will find itself at the red planet in December, years behind its originally intended arrival time.
A Japanese space probe plagued by technical problems has made its final flyby of the Earth and is on its way to Mars, space program officials said Friday. The probe, named Nozomi, which means Hope, passed within 6,800 miles of the Earth in a manuever designed to use the planet's gravity to slingshot the probe toward Mars. Mission planners would not be able to determine whether the flyby, conducted just before midnight Thursday, was a success for about another week, according to a statement by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science.
This year's "Mars hunt" should soon have a new participant: After five involuntarily idle years in space, the Japanese craft "Nozomi" will try an Earth swing-by this week when it passed Earth as close as 11,000 kilometers July 19 (at 14.43 GMT), and by using the Earth's gravity, was set on a new trajectory towards the red planet where it should arrive around New Year.
A Japanese space craft is making a close approach to the Earth as it attempts to gather speed for its journey to Mars. The probe, Nozomi, which means hope in Japanese, was damaged by a solar flare soon after launch and may not reach its destination. Its heating system is not working and must be fixed somehow to stop the space craft missing Mars and getting lost in space.
Five years late, low on fuel and with its heating system on the blink, Japan's first Mars-bound probe, the $88 million Nozomi, or "Hope," appears to be in serious trouble. Mission controllers trying to keep the mission alive face a major test Thursday, when Nozomi is scheduled to make its second swingby of Earth. The maneuver is intended to use the Earth's gravity as a slingshot to send the probe on its final trajectory to Mars. Experts admit the probe is limping.
The Japanese Mars exploration mission Nozomi launched on July 4, 1998, is now cruising in interplanetary orbit, and on target for a final flyby of Earth ahead of insertion into Mars orbit at the end of 2003. On December 21, 2002, the explorer came close to Earth and successfully implemented the earth swingby. Nozomi will execute the earth swingby again on June 19, 2003, and enter into cruising orbit inside the ecliptic plane. At the end of this year, the explorer will be ready to enter into the Mars orbit.