On July 3, 1998, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Nozomi spacecraft for a mission to Mars. This will be the country’s first probe to go to another planet.
Nozomi was originally scheduled to reach Mars in October 1999, but due to electrical failure, it was in heliocentric orbit, and there was not enough fuel to get there in time. The mission scientist then transferred the spacecraft to Mars in December. 2003.
Artistic illustration of the Nozomi Mars orbiter built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Artistic illustration of the Nozomi Mars orbiter built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. (Image source: JAXA)
However, the powerful solar flares that hit the spacecraft in 2002 damaged its communications and power systems.
When Ximei finally reached Mars, the mission control center was unable to send her into Mars orbit, so they completely abandoned the mission.
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