Japan’s Akatsuki Venus probe tried to enter the planet’s orbit Sunday, five years after its last attempt ended in failure.
The orbiter was launched in May 2010 to study the clouds, weather and climate of Venus, according to Space.com, but its main engine failed during its last orbit insertion attempt on Dec. 6 2010.
The second and final attempt took place at 6:51 p.m. ET Sunday when the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) performed an engine thrust operation. The thrust operation was conducted for about 20 minutes, it said, in a press release. “The orbiter is now in good health. We are currently measuring and calculating its orbit after the operation," it added. "It will take a few days to estimate the orbit, thus we will announce the operation result once it is determined.”
Akatsuki, which means “Dawn” in Japanese, is designed to help scientists understand how Venus became much hotter and less life-friendly than Earth, according to Space.com.