Unfortunately, the electric system of Nozomi as well as the S band antenna suffered damage from a heavy Solar eruption in April, 2002, limiting the communication possibilities with the spacecraft. The resulting problems in the electrical system made the heating for the spacecraft propellant fail, so that the propellant was frozen and unavailable for manouvering. Attempts to heat the propellant with solar radiation failed to resolve this problem.
Eventually, a correction maneuver on December 9, 2003 failed, so that Japan's space agency, JAXA, decided to abandon the mission. Nozomi was lifted into a safe flyby orbit to avoid a crash of the unsterilzed spacecraft on the Martian surface, and passed the Martian surface at a height of 860 km on December 14, 2003. It is now in a Solar orbit and remains in interplanetary space.
Nozomi's mission had been to study Mars' upper atmosphere.
Earth and Moon from Nozomi
Last Modification: June 2, 2008