[FPSPACE] Fw: [JAXA:0253] Orbit Control Maneuver Result of the Venus ClimateOrbiter 'AKATSUKI'

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Wed Jul 7 10:29:35 EDT 2010

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-----Original Message-----
From: JAXA Press Release Mail Service <jaxapr at jaxa.jp>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 09:30:41 
To: <ljk4 at msn.com>
Subject: [JAXA:0253] Orbit Control Maneuver Result of the Venus Climate
 Orbiter 'AKATSUKI'

                       ***  JAXA MAIL SERVICE  ***
                   Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Orbit Control Maneuver Result of the Venus Climate Orbiter 'AKATSUKI'

                                                    July 6, 2010 (JST)
                             Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI," which was launched on May 21, 
2010 (Japan Standard Time,) turned on the orbital maneuvering engine 
(OME) to jet 500 Newton (N)*1 of thruster on June 28 (JST) at a 
distance of 14.6 million km from the earth or 1.06 astronomical units 
(AU)*2 from the sun. As a result, we have successfully performed 
on-orbit verification of the ceramic thruster, made of silicon nitride 
(Si3N4) for the first time in the world. The thruster was newly 
developed in Japan.

Onboard position of the 500 N class ceramic thruster, 
whose on-orbit verification was successfully performed.

This thruster is a liquid rocket engine using hydrazine and nitrogen 
peroxide, and it is mainly used for retrofiring when the orbiter is 
injected into the Venus orbit. The thrust emitted this time is not 
only for adjusting the access to Venus, but is also an imperative 
operation to evaluate the thrust characteristics of the engine for 
Venus orbit insertion. As a result of our detailed orbit tracking by 
the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center, JAXA Usuda Deep Space Center, and 
NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) stations, we have confirmed that about 
12 meters per second of velocity correction was performed by 
13-second firing of the OME, and that met the range of the scheduled 
orbit control. The next orbit control (fine adjustment) is scheduled 
in early November, and AKATSUKI will go to the nearest point of Venus
and be injected into the Venus orbit on December 7 (JST.)
Currently, the explorer and its onboard devices are working properly,
and the Ultra-Stable Oscillator (USO) was also found to be functioning
well to achieve the frequency stability as expected in addition to the
Ultraviolet Imager (UVI,) 1 micrometer Camera (IR1) and Longwave IR 
Camera (LIR,) whose initial functional verifications were already 
completed on the launch day evening.

1 Newton (N) is a unit that shows the amount of net force required to 
  accelerate a mass of one kilogram at a rate of one meter per second 
  per second. In other words, it indicates the thrust power of the 
  explorer. 500 N is equivalent to about 50 kg of gravity loaded onto 
  an object on the Earth.
2 One astronomical unit (AU) is an average distance between the sun 
  and the Earth. AKATSUKI is currently flying outside of the earth 
  orbit as scheduled, thus it is in a different environment from the 
  environment that is assumed for operations on the Venus orbit, 
  which is at a distance of 0.7 AU from the sun on average. 

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            Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
            Marunouchi Kitaguchi Building,
            1-6-5, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8260


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