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Weather postpones Japanese probe launch
Posted: Tue, May 18, 2010, 7:24 AM ET (1124 GMT)
Akatsuki illustration (JAXA) Poor weather scrubbed the launch Tuesday of a Japanese Venus orbiter mission and solar sail demonstrator. JAXA officials said the H-2A launch from the Tanegashima Space Center was scrubbed because of the presence of a "freezing layer" in clouds above the launch site. The launch has been rescheduled for Friday to allow time to prepare the vehicle for another launch attempt and for weather conditions to improve. The rocket is carrying the Akatsuki, or Planet-C, spacecraft, a Venus orbiter designed to study the circulation of the planet's dense atmosphere. A secondary payload is Ikaros, a small solar sail designed to demonstrate the ability of the sail to accelerate and navigate.
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