Venus Climate Orbiter “AKATSUKI”(PLANET-C) employs some optical systems made by Nikon

December 18, 2015

On December 9, 2015, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that the Venus Climate Orbiter “AKATSUKI” (PLANET-C) successfully inserted into Venus' orbit. The AKATSUKI's main purpose is to elucidate the mysteries of the Venusian atmosphere and it was the first Japanese space probe which inserted into planet orbit successfully.

Nikon Corporation (Kazuo Ushida, President, Tokyo) joins this project and plays a vital role in designing and manufacturing four optical systems including lenses and lens barrels, which contributed to capturing images of Venus. In the process of inserting into Venus' orbit, the AKATSUKI withstood in several occasions an environment with a thermal condition higher than that of the design specifications. The optical systems that Nikon provided were also tolerant of such harsh conditions and contributed to capturing images of Venus.

Nikon has been collaborating in the development of many satellites and space probes including the land observing satellite DAICHI launched in January 2006, the infrared astronomy satellite AKARI launched in February 2006, and the spectroscopic planet observatory for recognition of interaction of atmosphere HISAKI launched in September 2013.
Nikon will continue to support challenging projects dealing with space observation and measurement by leveraging our advanced optical design capabilities and high-precision processing technologies.

CG image: AKATSUKI capturing images of Venus
Capturing image of Venus: taken by the Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) which employs Nikon's optical systems

At around 2:19 p.m. on Dec. 7 (Japan Standard Time) at the Venus altitude of about 72,000 km

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.