Longueuil, Quebec, December 9, 2003 – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today
confirmed that the Japanese satellite Nozomi has been rerouted away from
Mars by JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Crucial orbit
insertion maneuvers were impossible to achieve because of defective
equipment onboard and the mission has been canceled. Nozomi will now follow
a harmless large elliptic solar orbit.

Canada was a partner in this international Mars mission with a $ xx 5
million Canadian-built scientific instrument onboard — the Thermal Plasma
Analyser (TPA). The TPA was designed to analyse the Martian atmosphere to
better understand its origin and composition. The University of Calgary was
leading the TPA research team and Canadian firms COM DEV International
(Cambridge, Ont.), Pakwa Engineering (Saskatoon, Sask.), CAL Corp. (Ottawa,
Ont.) and CompAS Electronics (Kanata, Ont.) were involved in the design and
building of the instrument.

“This is not a total loss for the Canadian Space Program”, said Alain
Berinstain, CSA’s (title)acting Director of Planetary Exploration and Space
Astronomy . TPA has positioned Canada as a preferred supplier of
state-of-the-art science and technology. It has opened doors to current and
future collaborations with Japan and with other countries involved in the
exploration of the solar system. Our thoughts are with our colleagues and
friends from Japan and we look forward to working with them again in the

In April 2002, on its way to Mars, NOZOMI had experienced a very strong
solar energetic proton event associated with a strong solar flare. This
caused a short circuit in one of the subsystems and a loss of telemetry
signal, which made the Mars orbit insertion impossible.

For more information, please contact:

Monique Billette
Communications Advisor
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4370
E-mail: monique.billette@space.gc.ca