Akatsuki (あかつき, 暁, "Dawn"), also known as the Venus Climate Orbiter (VCO) and Planet-C, is a Japanese (JAXA) space probe tasked to study the atmosphere of Venus. It was launched aboard an H-IIA 202 rocket on 20 May 2010, and failed to enter orbit around Venus on 6 December 2010. After the craft orbited the Sun for five years, engineers placed it into an alternative elliptical Venusian orbit on 7 December 2015 by firing its attitude control thrusters for 20 minutes. By using five different cameras working at several wavelengths, Akatsuki is studying the stratification of the atmosphere, atmospheric dynamics, and cloud physics. Astronomers working on the mission reported detecting a possible gravity wave that occurred on Venus in December 2015.
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