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Japan Gives up Mars Exploration due to Probe Failure

Japan's space exploration ambition suffered a fresh blow Tuesday when it decided to halt a Mars exploration due to failure of the probe.  

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced it had abandoned hope to repair the troubled Mars probe, dubbed Hope. Tuesday night is the deadline for its entering the Mars orbit.


The probe was launched with an M-5 rocket in July, 1998, and was scheduled to approach Mars in October, 1999. But engine trouble delayed its attempt until Dec. 14 this year.


Its electric power system suffered a short circuit in April last year, putting the main engine out of action and depriving the probe of the means to transmit data to Japan.


Japan's space probing plan was haunted by a series of setbacks. It shut down the operation of a malfunctioning environmental research satellite in October.


Still, the JAXA, a combination of three former space agencies, detonated last month a H-2A shortly after its launch because one of the boosters failed to separate from the rocket. Among the losses were two spy satellites aboard. The launch project had been postponed for three times prior to the doom.


(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2003)

Launch of Japan's H-2A Rocket with Spy Satellites Fails
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