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JAXA to live broadcast AKATSUKI, IKAROS launch

An artistic impression of Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI

TOKYO (BNS): Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced to live broadcast the launch report of the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" and the Small Solar Power Sail Demonstrator "IKAROS" on May 18th.

According to the space agency, the live launch report will be broadcast through the Internet at 6:15 AM (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) in Japan.

AKATSUKI and IKAROS will be launched together by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 17. The two payloads are currently undergoing final preparations at the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

AKATSUKI (PLANET-C) is the next planetary exploration project for the Martian orbiter NOZOMI. The main aim of this project is to elucidate the mysteries of the Venusian atmosphere.

IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is Japan's solar powered spaceship which measures less than the thickness of a strand of human hair. It is designed to exploit the energy of the sunlight. The force generated by the sunlight will help propel the IKAROS, which also will be slathered with thin-film solar cells to help generate electricity.

It will be the world’s first solar powered sail craft employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation during its interplanetary cruise.

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