Nozomi Makes its Earth Flyby

The Japanese space probe Nozomi, passed an important milestone on its journey to Mars Thursday night with the successfully flyby of Earth. The spacecraft passed within 11,000 km of the Earth in order to use our planet’s gravity to assist its trip to Mars. Its challenges aren’t over yet, however, since its heating system still isn’t functional and required in order to enter Mars orbit at the end of its journey. Space experts give Nozomi a 50/50 chance of being able to fix itself before reaching Mars.