Venus is well known by the Japanese as the first star, and has been called the "morning bright star" or "evening bright star" since ancient times. In the West, its shining beauty is explained in its name "Venus", the Goddess of beauty. Venus comes closest to the Earth, and the dimensions of the two planets are very similar, hence they are often called "sister planets." However, it is imagined that there are no oceans on Venus because it is located a little closer to the Sun. As its atmosphere mostly consists of carbon dioxide, which causes the greenhouse effect, Venus has become a tropical heat planet unlike the Earth. Although Venus has little rotation, its surface is surrounded by strong east winds called a "super rotation," which is one of the biggest wonders of meteorology.
The Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C), scheduled to be launched by JAXA in Japan Fiscal Year 2010, will explore this unique climate of Venus to elucidate the mechanism of determining the planetary environment in order to help deepen our understanding of the Earth's climate.
This year also marks the 400th anniversary since Galileo Galilei first turned a telescope to the night sky to open the door to space. The United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Science, and Culture Organization recognize this year as the "International Year of Astronomy 2009," and a lot of space-related events are being carried out all over the world. It is said that Galileo became certain about the theory of "Heliocentrism" thanks to observing the waxing and waning of Venus.
JAXA would like to enhance people’s interest in space and the Earth by holding a "message campaign" in which we invite people to send us messages that will be printed in fine letters on an aluminum plate and placed aboard the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI".
We will accept messages both from Japan and overseas so that we can bind the feelings and thoughts of everybody in the world into one, and inject it into the orbit of Venus. Through this campaign, we would like to boost the public’s knowledge about Japanese space science research activities in Japan as well as abroad.
With the cooperation of the "International Year of Astronomy 2009 Japan Committee," we would like to carry out the "message campaign" to collect messages to be attached to the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI."
We will accept your entries until January 10 (Sun.), 2010
(The deadline was originally December 25, 2009.)
Through the Internet
[Sending a message as a group]
Those who are a group with a dozen members or more in Japan (such as a school, kindergarten, company, residents' association, hobby club, science museum, or event organization team) can send a message via conventional postal mail. (A group with less than 10 members can also send a message.) Please write your message as large and clearly as possible within a limited paper size (A4). We also accept illustrations, but please remember that everything will be carved in black and white. Send your group name and a message on an A4 size paper (if your paper size is different, please make a contraction /enlargement copy to make it size A4) and write the following on the backside of the paper: the number of people in your group, the address, name, age, gender, telephone number, e-mail address of a representative of the group. (If no e-mail address is available, please send a postcard for a reply with your address and name and a 50-yen stamp on the front side). Send your message (and a reply postcard, if necessary) to the following address.
All private information that will be gathered for this message campaign will be used only for the purpose of this campaign. We will not disclose any private information to any third party except those who are related to this campaign work without asking your consensus or unless we are required to disclose such information by law and/or regulations.
Left: Location of plates Right: Aluminum plate image