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Japan at Venus: Photos from the Akatsuki Spacecraft's Mission

Japan's Akatsuki Venus Spacecraft

JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's Akatsuki spacecraft arrived in orbit around the planet Venus in December 2015, five years after missing the planet on its first try. Now, the science mission begins in earnest. Read the full story here. See photos from JAXA's Akatsuki mission in our gallery here. Shown here: An artist's view of Akatsuki arriving at Venus.

Akatsuki Test Image of Venus

JAXA

This test image of Venus was captured in December 2015 by the Longwave IR camera aboard Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft. On April 1, 2016, JAXA officials said the Akatsuki spacecraft was nearly ready to begin science operations at Venus. Read the full story here.

Akatsuki View of Venus on Dec. 7, 2015

JAXA

Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft captured this image of Venus after its attitude control engine thrust ejection on Dec. 7, 2015, at a distance of 45,000 miles (72,000 km) from Venus.

Venus as Seen by Akatsuki: 1

JAXA

Venus as captured by the Akatsuki spacecraft's Ultraviolet Imager instrument on Dec. 6, 2015, from a distance of about 44,700 miles (72,000 kilometers). Read the full story here of Akatsuki's Venus arrival.

Venus as Seen by Akatsuki: 2

JAXA

Venus as seen by the Akatsuki probe's 1-Micron Camera on Dec. 6, 2015, from a distance of 42,250 miles (68,000 km). Read the full story here of Akatsuki's Venus arrival.

Akatsuki Venus Orbit Diagram

JAXA

Diagram showing the orbit of Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft, which arrived at Venus on Dec. 6, 2015. Read the full story here of Akatsuki's Venus arrival.

Japan’s Akatsuki Probe at Venus

Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

Artist’s illustration of Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft at Venus.

Venus in Infrared

JAXA.

The Earth appears as a bright orange crescent in this infrared view taken by Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft on May 21, 2010 as it headed to Venus shortly after launch.

Crescent Venus

JAXA

Image of a crescent Venus captured by AKATSUKI two days after passing Venus in Dec. 2010.

Japan’s Akatsuki Probe at Venus

Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

Artist’s illustration of Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft at Venus.

World's First Solar Sail Photographed in Deep Space

JAXA

A tiny cylindrical space camera detached itself from Japan's new solar sail and snapped some photos of the mission bound for Venus and beyond in June 2010. Full Story.

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.