Akatsuki’s engine too damaged to put the probe into Venus orbit in 2015


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The engine of Japan’s troubled Venus probe, Akatsuki, has been found too damaged to put the probe into Venus orbit.

JAXA conducted a test ignition of the probe’s main engine on Wednesday to prepare for another attempt to send it into orbit in 2015. But the thrust produced was only one-eighth the amount anticipated, the space agency said. The damage the engine suffered last December when JAXA ignited it in the initial attempt to send the probe into orbit around Venus appears to be more serious than thought, JAXA said.

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