Press Release


Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C)
Message Campaign

October 23, 2009 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C) by H-IIA Launch Vehicle in Japan Fiscal Year 2010. The AKATSUKI will enter the orbit of Venus about half a year after its launch, and will take some two years to explore the atmosphere of Venus.
JAXA would like to enhance people’s interest in space and the Earth by holding a "message campaign" in which we invite people to send us messages that will be printed in fine letters on an aluminum plate and placed aboard the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI". We will accept messages both from Japan and overseas so that we can bind the feelings and thoughts of everybody in the world into one, and inject it into the orbit of Venus. Through this campaign, we would like to boost the public’s knowledge about Japanese space science research activities in Japan as well as abroad.
With the cooperation of the "International Year of Astronomy 2009 Japan Committee," we would like to carry out the "message campaign" to collect messages to be attached to the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" as follows.

1. Campaign name

"We will deliver your message to the bright star Venus"
- "AKATSUKI" Message Campaign -

2. Message accepted
From October 23, 2009 thru December 25, 2009 (Japan Standard Time)

3. How to send your message
[For individual senders]
Through the Internet
Japanese site:
English site:

  • You can send a message in Japanese characters (Hiragana, Kanji, and Katakana) as well as using numbers and/or Roman letters. However, some letters (such as half-sized Katakana) or some PC specific letters may not be properly encoded on our side. Therefore, if you use such letters, they may not be printed as you intend.
  • Only a name (without a message) is also acceptable.
  • The International Year of Astronomy 2009 Japan Committee will be in charge of accepting names and messages sent through the Internet, counting them, and protecting your private information.
  • Your message and illustration may be used on our Web site, leaflet, and/or magazines for the purpose of public affairs and promotion. Copyright of the messages and illustrations basically belong to JAXA.

[Sending a message as a group]
Those who are a group of over 100 members in Japan (such as a school, kindergarten, company, residents’ association, hobby’s club, science museum, or event organization team) can send a message via conventional postal mail. Please write your message as large and clearly as possible within a limited paper size (A4). We can accept an illustration, but please remember that everything will be carved in black and white. Send your group name and a message on an A4 size paper (if your paper size is different, please make a contraction /enlargement copy to make it size A4) and write the following on the backside of the paper: the number of people in your group (over 100 people is the norm), the address, name, age, gender, telephone no, e-mail address of a representative of a group. (If no e-mail address is available, please send a postcard for a reply with your address and name and a 50-yen stamp on the front side). Send your message (and a reply postcard, if necessary) to the following address.

JAXA ISAS "AKATSUKI" Campaign Office
3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa 229-8510

  • We will e-mail you (or send a reply postcard back in the case you send it to us) to let you know that we will have received your message.
  • We will not send you back your message. Your message and illustration may be used on our Web site, leaflet, and/or magazines for the purpose of public affairs and promotion. (Please refrain from sending any information, messages and/or illustrations that you do not want us to publish, such as personal information.) Copyright of the messages and illustrations basically belong to JAXA.
  • Please be aware that messages will be scaled down by a large percentage when they are printed on an aluminum plate.
  • JAXA (ISAS) will be in charge of accepting names and messages, counting them, and protecting your private information.
For inquiries about this campaign
JAXA Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) Research Promotion Office
Tel. 042-759-8008 (or +81-42-759-8008)

Image by Akihiro Ikeshita

Venus is well known by the Japanese as the first star, and has been called the "morning bright star" or "evening bright star" since ancient times. In the West, its shining beauty is explained in its name "Venus", the Goddess of beauty. Venus comes closest to the Earth, and the dimensions of the two planets are very similar, hence they are often called "sister planets." However, it is imagined that there are no oceans on Venus because it is located a little closer to the Sun. As its atmosphere mostly consists of carbon dioxide, which causes the greenhouse effect, Venus has become a tropical heat planet unlike the Earth. Although Venus has little rotation, its surface is surrounded by strong east winds called a "super rotation," which is one of the biggest wonders of meteorology.
The "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C) will explore this unique climate of Venus to elucidate the mechanism of determining the planetary environment in order to help deepen our understanding of the Earth’s climate. This year also marks the 400th anniversary since Galileo Galilei first turned a telescope to the night sky to open the door to space. The United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Science, and Culture Organization recognize this year as the "International Year of Astronomy 2009," and a lot of space-related events are being carried out all over the world. It is said that Galileo became certain about the theory of "Heliocentrism" thanks to observing the waxing and waning of Venus.

For more details about the AKATSUKI, please check the following site.