Monday, November 23, 2009

Your chance to communicate with Venus, courtesy of JAXA

I've been researching Venusian landing missions for a while, but have not really paid much attention to orbital material.  In fact I should; the combined terrestrial and orbital components of the exploration of Venus have a unique signature when compared to those of other celestial bodies, in terms of the nationalities represented.  (This makes me think of creating some sort of index which captures this for all of the celestial bodies.  Where is cultural material mostly located - on or above the surface? What can this reveal about spacefaring cultures?).

But I digress.  There is something very appealing about sending the messages of regular people into space, and JAXA are about to do it for Venus, as explained in the story below.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is enhancing people's interest in space and the Earth by holding a message campaign. People are invited to send messages that will be printed in fine letters on an aluminium plate and placed aboard the Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI.

Messages are being accepted from Japan and overseas, so the feelings and thoughts of everybody in the world can be combined in a single place and injected into the orbit of Venus.

Through this campaign JAXA aims to boost the public's knowledge about space science research activities in Japan as well as abroad. This project is in cooperation with the IYA2009 Japan Committee.

The Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI is the world's first planetary meteorological observation satellite to unveil the mysteries of wind on Venus. It will explore the atmospheric movement and cloud formation process. Ultimately, this mission aims to deepen our understanding of the formation process of the Earth's environment and its future by comparing Venus and the Earth. Its planned launch date is May 2010, to arrive at Venus in December 2010.
To register your message, please visit:

Source:  IYA Newsletter and Dave Reneke's Astro Space News 23

Further digression:  a map of sites in the solar system, by nationality (where this is clear, of course).

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