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JAXA Explores the Planets of the Solar System

In recent years, JAXA has achieved significant scientific results with its exploration missions in the solar system: the lunar explorer KAGUYA and the asteroid explorer HAYABUSA. As a result of this steady progress, Japan's planetary exploration technology is now highly regarded around the world. Such planetary research is an important step towards understanding the origin and evolution of our planet Earth. In 2010, JAXA will launch the Venus climate orbiter AKATSUKI (PLANET-C). BepiColombo, the joint European-Japanese exploration mission to Mercury, is scheduled for launch in 2014. Along with AKATSUKI, JAXA will be launching the small solar-power sail demonstrator IKAROS, which moves by collecting sunlight on a sail-like membrane. Such an idea has existed for some time but has never before been put into practice. If it is successful, IKAROS will be the word's first solar sail spacecraft.

The World's First Planetary Meteorological Satellite: Exploring the Mystery of the Wind on Venus Takeshi Imamura, Project Scientist, AKATSUKI (Venus Climate Orbiter) FULL STORY

Japan and Europe Explore the Mysterious World of Mercury Masaki Fujimoto, Project Scientist, Mercury Exploration Mission BepiColombo FULL STORY

Space Yacht: using sunlight to cruise through space Osamu Mori, Project Leader, Solar Power Sail Demonstrator IKAROS FULL STORY