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Born on this day
Elzie Crisler Segar
Elzie Crisler Segar was an American cartoonist.
49th week in year
8 December 2017

Important eventsBack

The spacecraft IKAROS passes the planet Venus8.12.2010

Wikipedia (28 Jan 2014, 08:34)

IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) experimental spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched on 21 May 2010, aboard an H-IIA rocket, together with the Akatsuki (Venus Climate Orbiter) probe and four other small spacecraft. IKAROS is the first spacecraft to successfully demonstrate solar-sail technology in interplanetary space.

On 8 December 2010, IKAROS passed by Venus at about 80,800 km (50,200 mi) distance, completing the planned mission successfully, and entered its extended operation phase.


Mission progress

IKAROS was successfully launched together with Akatsuki (the Venus Climate Orbiter) aboard an H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center on 21 May 2010.

IKAROS spun at 20–25 revolutions per minute and finished unfurling its sail on 10 June 2010. The craft contains two tiny ejectable cameras, DCAM1 and DCAM2. DCAM2 was used to visualise the sail after deployment on 14 July 2010. One of those photos was considered in 2013 by Discovery News as one of the best space robot selfies.

Acceleration and attitude (orientation) control were successfully tested during the remaining six month voyage to Venus. On 9 July 2010, JAXA confirmed that IKAROS is being accelerated by its solar sail, and on 23 July announced successful attitude control.

IKAROS continues to spin at approximately 2 rpm, requiring the LCD panels to be cycled at that rate for attitude control.

According to JAXA, IKAROS finished all planned experiments in Dec 2010, but the mission has continued beyond that date "in order to enhance the skill of controlling solar sail." On November 30, 2012, JAXA announced that IKAROS had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s first solar sail spacecraft between planets, and that its two separated cameras, DCAM1 and DCAM2, had been recognized as the smallest size of a spacecraft flying between planets.


Science results

From the gamma-ray polarization data of GAP, Toma et al puts a stricter limit on CPT violation. It is an improvement of eight orders of magnitude over previous limits.

   
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