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Akatsuki to Venus

7 Dec 2009, 10:22 UTC
Akatsuki to Venus
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Japan will become the fourth “nation” after the United States, the Soviet Union, and the European Union (which isn’t a nation, but saying “the 30th nation” sounds all wrong) to send a spacecraft to Venus. It will be the Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI, which obviously will study the climate of Venus’ carbon-dioxide-laden atmosphere.
They also happen to be sending an aluminum plate with messages from all over the world along with the spacecraft. If you want, you could send your own message to Venus. My own message was “Greetings from Blue Star to Gold Star” (I really would have liked to put a couple of “Wandering”s in there, but it wouldn’t fit the 40 character limit). In return, I got a ticket for a ride on the Venus Climate Orbiter: valid for up to 3 Venus years after launch, but void if I were to get off during the journey. Now if I could just get to the launch pad in time, maybe I could hitch a ride …

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