The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency made a second attempt Monday morning to put the Akatsuki probe into orbit around Venus, five years after a problem with the main engine thwarted the first try.

"It is very much expected to enter the planned orbit," JAXA professor Masato Nakamura, who is in charge of the Akatsuki program, said at a news conference after the agency confirmed that Akatsuki's equipment, including communications, was still functioning properly after a four-thruster burn went as planned.

With the nozzle of the probe's main engine apparently wrecked, JAXA reprogrammed Akatsuki to use four thrusters for an attitude-control burn to send it into an elliptical orbit of up to 300,000 km and eight to nine days long around Venus, giving it two years to observe the planet's meteorological phenomena.