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By Marty McDowell/NASA

On Aug 18, 1985, the Japan launched Suisei (which means "comet" in Japanese). This was Japan's second deep space mission. As with the first (Sakigake), its mission was to study the Comet Halley

For a time, Suisei returned as many as six UV pictures a day of the comet. Then the cameras were turned off and experiments on the solar wind were conducted. During its mission, Suisei was hit by two particles of dust from Halley that altered the rotation of the craft.

A further mission for Suisei was planned as a rendezvous with comet Giacobini-Zinner in November 1998 but the mission ended when Suisei ran out of fuel on February 22, 1991. The spacecraft automatically shut itself off and hasn't been heard from since.

Source: NASA.


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Space References (Books):
Dickinson, Terence. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. Firefly Books, 1998.
Greene, Brian. Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. Vintage, 2000.
Hawking, Stephen. Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition. Bantam, 1996.
Hawking, Stephen. Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. New Millenium, 2002.
Hawking, Stephen. The Universe in a Nutshell. Bantam, 2001.
Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension.
Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Berkley Pub Group, 2001.
Sagan, Carl; Druyan, Ann. Comet, Revised Edition. Ballantine, 1997
Sagan, Carl. Cosmos, Reissue Edition. Ballantine, 1993
Sagan, Carl. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Ballantine, 1997

Space References (Videos):
Cosmos. PBS, 2000.
Stephen Hawking's Universe. PBS, 1997.
Hyperspace. BBC, 2002.
Life Beyond Earth PBS, 1999.
The Planets
. BBC, 1999.
Understanding The Universe. A&E, 1996.



Suisei spacecraft

Courtesy of NASA

Launched: August 18, 1985

Destination: Halley's Comet

Arrival: March 8, 1986

Return: N/A

Nation: Japan

Mission: Flyby of comet

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