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#26 2005-11-07 09:51:34

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,829

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Venus Express set for launch to the cryptic planet

On Wednesday, 9 November 2005, the sky over the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, will be illuminated by the blast from a Soyuz-Fregat rocket carrying this precious spacecraft aloft.

The celestial motion of the planets in our Solar System has given Venus Express the window to travel to Venus on the best route. In fact, every nineteen months Venus reaches the point where a voyage from Earth is the most fuel-efficient. To take advantage of this opportunity, ESA has opted to launch Venus Express within the first possible ‘launch window’, which opened on 26 October and will close on 24 November this year.

Again, due to the relative motion of Earth and Venus, plus Earth’s daily rotation, there is only one short period per day when it is possible to launch, lasting only a few seconds. The launch is now planned for November at 04:33 Central European Time (CET) (09:33 in Baikonur).

Venus Express will take only 155 days, a little more than five months, to reach Venus. Then, in April 2006, the adventure of exploration will begin with Venus finally welcoming a spacecraft, a fully European one, more than ten years after humankind paid the last visit.

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#27 2005-11-08 06:44:09

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

*Update:

Venus Express Team In Launch Countdown

Baikonur, Kazakhstan (ESA) Nov 08, 2005

At 07:00 CET Monday, the Venus Express mission clock began ticking down to Wednesday's launch.  The excitement at ESOC and particularly in the Main Control Room is palpable as launch preparations get under way. Throughout Monday, the Mission Control Team ran through final checks.

Are already obtaining live feedback from VE (aboard the launcher, of course).  Regarding those final checks/verifications, everything checked is operating nominally.

I sure hope they make this launch.  According to the article, the next suitable launch window isn't until late 2006.  neutral  Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Article

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#28 2005-11-08 12:22:14

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

*Spaceref.com adds new web site to its collection:

Venustoday.com

Can find all pertinent info, updates, etc., there.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#29 2005-11-08 23:01:40

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

The Venus Express probe, the first space mission in over 10 years to Earth's closest neighbour, was launched Wednesday aboard a Soyez-Fregat rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome, an AFP journalist witnessed. The rocket lifted off at 9:33 am (0333 GMT) and the probe was to separate from it two hours later to embark on its 163-day journey to Venus.
http://www.spacedaily.com/2005/05110904 … v1ieb.html
"I'm extremely happy", European Space Agency (ESA) scientific programme director David Southwood said 10 minutes after the launch, when all systems were normal.

Venus Express launched
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Expre … 8FE_0.html
The first stage strap-on boosters have been jettisoned. The second stage core is still running as planned. All system parameters are reported normal.

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#30 2005-11-09 06:03:18

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

The Venus Express probe, the first space mission in over 10 years to Earth's closest neighbour, was launched Wednesday aboard a Soyez-Fregat rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome, an AFP journalist witnessed. The rocket lifted off at 9:33 am (0333 GMT) and the probe was to separate from it two hours later to embark on its 163-day journey to Venus.
http://www.spacedaily.com/2005/05110904 … v1ieb.html
"I'm extremely happy", European Space Agency (ESA) scientific programme director David Southwood said 10 minutes after the launch, when all systems were normal.

Venus Express launched
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Expre … 8FE_0.html
The first stage strap-on boosters have been jettisoned. The second stage core is still running as planned. All system parameters are reported normal.

*GREAT!  big_smile  I am so glad it went well.  Will of course keep tabs on its progress.  I live in the States, it's only 5:00 a.m. local time (roughly 11:00 a.m. or noon London time), so I was asleep when launch occurred.

Excellent.  Very best wishes to ESA.  There's so much good science coming!

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#31 2005-11-09 13:54:18

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Very good reports big_smile

Officials reported a clean separation of the spacecraft one hour and 37 minutes after liftoff, and the performance of the launcher and Venus Express was deemed normal. The Australian New Norcia ground station first made contact with the craft soon after it was released from the Fregat stage, confirming the critical deployment of the solar arrays had occurred, and that all other systems were functioning per the plan, according to controllers at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany.
http://spaceflightnow.com/venusexpress/ … aunch.html

It should reach its target in about five months, where it will enter an elliptical polar orbit. It will fly to as low as 250 kilometres (156 miles) above the surface and to a height of 66,000 kilometres (41,250 miles).
"It's just such an exciting mission," said Prof Manuel Grande from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK.
"Earth is halfway between Venus and Mars, and when we put this together with Mars Express, it will tell us about the evolution of all three planets."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4420210.stm
Venus Express copies the basic structure of the highly successful Mars Express spacecraft, launched in 2003.

“We had a perfect launch, the instruments are switched on, the solar panels are deployed, everything is working.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9968126/
Shortly after activation, ESA received its first congratulatory note, sent from the Pasadena, Calif.-based Planetary Society, which had monitored the launch from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

ESA PR 50-2005
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Expre … 8FE_0.html
The European spacecraft will also be the first orbiter to probe the planet's surface while exploiting the 'visibility windows' recently discovered in the infrared waveband.


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#32 2005-11-10 12:20:03

noosfractal
Member
From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Bon voyage Venus Express ...

  • Interplanetary-Orbit-4101.gif

_


Fan of Red Oasis

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#33 2005-11-28 17:55:29

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

*Thanks, noosfractal, for that chart.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0511/27venusearth/

VE looks homeward.

(Note to ESA:  Next time please give notification; some of us would like to be sure our hair is brushed and we're ready to say "cheese."  Thank you.)  tongue

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#34 2005-12-02 07:08:44

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

First light for the Venus Monitoring Camera

*Is a composite of 4 images of Earth and Luna from 3.5 million km.  Earth is over-exposed, north is up. 

The value of such images to the scientific teams is that it allows them to test and calibrate their instruments before Venus approach.

VMC's capabilities/purposes listed.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#35 2005-12-17 20:14:14

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

First light for the Venus Monitoring Camera

*Is a composite of 4 images of Earth and Luna from 3.5 million km.  Earth is over-exposed, north is up. 

The value of such images to the scientific teams is that it allows them to test and calibrate their instruments before Venus approach.

VMC's capabilities/purposes listed.

--Cindy

some more photos from Venus Express looking back at Earth and the Moon

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Expre … WFE_1.html

Earth-Moon observations

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#36 2005-12-19 04:15:12

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

This guy has tuned in to Venus Express from his backyard!
He's going to try and do the same with Mars Express...

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#37 2006-02-08 17:47:21

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

This guy has tuned in to Venus Express from his backyard!
He's going to try and do the same with Mars Express...

very nice work


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#38 2006-03-04 11:46:52

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

ESA Venus Express Status: Payload Check-out Activities
http://www.venustoday.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=19746
STATUS REPORT
Date Released: Saturday, February 25, 2006
Report for Period 17 February to 23 February 2006
After the successful calibration test of the Main Engine flight activities have focused on payloads check-out activities. The ground segment and industrial teams are busy with the processing of the data acquired during the Main Engine test and are preparing the trim manoeuvre that shall put the spacecraft on the final trajectory to the target point.


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#39 2006-03-15 04:16:12

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft is closing the distance to its destination and remains on course for its rendezvous with the veiled planet on April 11, mission controllers said.
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Venus … ation.html
The Venus Express team said the spacecraft's systems are ready for the orbit insertion around Venus and for the first in-orbit operations. Controllers based their assessment of the spacecraft's readiness for the approach to Venus on the "excellent" performance of the main engine during its Feb. 17 test




Video of the Venus Express
http://esatv-movies.e-vision.nl/videos/ … wmplow.wmv




Preparation for Venus Approach
13 Mar 2006 11:23
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object … ctid=38933
Report for period 03 March to 09 March 2006

With the reporting period all calibration, science and maintenance activities of the instruments have been completed and focus is now on the Venus approach phase. These included the last MAG and ASPERA science acquisitions and a USO drift test.

Future Milestones

The spacecraft is now configured for the Venus approach phase and activities will focus only to this.

The intense navigation campaign will enter now a period of maximum activity in order to have an extremely precise assessment of the spacecraft trajectory versus its target point at the planet.


Video Talk
Modem - Riddles of the rocky planets / Mysteries of Venus
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Video_Talk_ … 3EE_0.html
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Video_Talk_ … 2FE_0.html
Broadband - Riddles of the rocky planets / Mysteries of Venus
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/VideoTalk/S … 3EE_0.html
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/VideoTalk/S … 3EE_0.html
videos with subtitle options



This was a celebration of new Venus missions, thanks to our colleagues in other countries. Many of the scientists and students attending were from Japan, a country that will be launching their first Venus orbiter in 2010. Also well represented were the various member states of the European Space Agency, whose Venus Express spacecraft was launched last November and will enter Venus orbit this April.
It was also a reminder that in current NASA planning, Venus remains "the forgotten planet." Throughout the week it became clear that the importance of Venus in planetary science is not reflected in NASA's current exploration plans. In fact, Venus has received visits from only two American missions in the last 30 years (not counting the fly-bys of Galileo and Cassini, which got a gravitational kick from Venus on their way to the outer solar system).
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Earth … Venus.html
The final session dealt with extrasolar planets and astrobiology. But, wait a minute, this meeting was supposed to be about Venus
why were we talking about other solar systems and the search for life? Because, as Dr. Victoria Meadows from JPL explained, many extrasolar planets are likely to be Venus-like. If we want to be prepared for the coming era of comparative planetology, when we have data about Earth-sized planets around other stars, we had better pay more attention to Venus

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#40 2006-04-05 20:54:52

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 999

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

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#41 2006-04-11 00:08:38

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Start of slew should have begun  - Slew maneuver
Spacecraft time 05:56 Apr 10 Earth receive 06:03
Begining slew to aim engine ?

more on Venus
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4895792.stm
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12254327/


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#42 2006-04-11 10:55:08

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Succes!

Well done!


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#43 2006-04-12 00:11:57

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Succes!

Well done!

very good news for space fans

check out emily's planetary society blog

Venus Express post-orbit-insertion press conference
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000537/

.....
....[Question about how much fuel remains on board]
McCoy: "In fact we have quite a bit margin of fuel on board. We allocate extra fuel for a bad launch, for maneuvers on route, [and everything was nominal] so we probably have enough fuel to do the extended mission, and quite frankly I think we could do another one after that. We have enough fuel for 4 and a half to 6 years."

[Was timing of events today as expected? and was orbit as expected]
Warhaut: "We got all the announcements at the expected time. There was one moment in time where we were supposed to come out of occultation, and we had a delay of two minutes, but we did not know they [the DSN] were sweeping the signal. The overall burn was exactly as planned. [With regard to the orbit,] I ask you to wait one hour. We have now switched on the ranging signal to enable us to determine the position, so we have to hang on another half an hour or hour or so."

[Why the choice of orbit with periapsis near north pole?]
Svedhem: "One reason is we have a very elliptical orbit and we want to have a very elliptical orbit where we are very close to one hemisphere to do detailed studies of features in atmosphere and on the surface. At the same time by having a high apocenter we can have a very good global view of southern hemisphere; at apocenter we can hang for several hours."

[What is the plan for end of mission?]
McCoy: "In fact the orbit will naturally decay into Venus' atmosphere. We certainly haven't got detailed plans yet. But it would be a perfect opportunity for Europe to gain experience in aerobraking for the future."

[How has duplication of Mars Express helped, and how are the two different?]
McCoy: "We had quite an exciting start for Mars Express, which is not good news for engineers; we went into safe mode after starting. This is an example of how we have learned to adapt the lessons of Mars Express to Venus. We have learned how to tailor our safe modes to more realistic conditions. Also on Mars Express there was some question with the star tracker. We took all of these lessons to Venus Express, and we don't have these problems on Venus Express. Finally, Mars Express could operate very well in orbit; as you saw Venus Express went into orbit completely nominally. The only major difference is the communications, where we have an extra antenna, and also the thermal environment, which is hotter."

[Will this kind of twin spacecraft be done again?]
Southwood: "Venus Express has a resemblance to Mars Express, and it cost us considerably less than it would have done had we started from scratch. You get some efficiencies of scale. I would imagine we saved on the order of 100 million Euros in just running Venus Express in the slipstream of Mars Express, which in turn was run in the slipstream of Rosetta. Well, I would like it to set a precedent, but we don't have a big enough budget to go on doing missions of a similar nature. We have to go on exploring the universe, and you can't do that with missions like Venus Express and Mars Express. But we try with the next two missions that we do, Herschel and Planck. They are being built as brother and sister; there are enormous differences between the two, but there are also commonalities, so we get more bang for our Euro. That doesn't sound quite as good in European as it does in American."

[What is the timeline for the coming days?]
Warhaut: "We will this afternoon switch on all the subsystems. We will plan for windows of science opportunity already in this first 9-day orbit, which we offer on a best-effort basis, if the orbit now permits this. If it permits, we have 6 windows available to the payload, which they will be able to make observations of Venus from a large distance. We wish to reach the nominal orbit on 7 May, then there is a period of 4 weeks set aside to make sure instruments are playing well together."

[Will ESA be returning to planetary exploration?]
Southwood: "I can predict right away that my successor may be sitting in this room 7, 8, 9 years from now, because we will be landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we'll be orbiting Mercury, we'll have ExoMars in the same time scale. Don't worry, we'll be back in the planets."

[Will ESA be cooperating with NASA to go to Europa?]
Southwood: "With regard to international cooperation, we try to mix elements. We go to Mercury with the Japanese; that's a first to us, and it's a very important first. I think we will be going back into space with the Americans. I sure hope we are going to see the JWST launch, and that will be a joint European and NASA experiment. As for the big planets, the giant planets are almost like solar systems of their own. A big question though, is whether it's Europa, a more complex mission, looking at the entire Jupiter system, or whether you go back to this extraordinary body discovered recently, Enceladus, with liquid water where it has no right to be. Of course now, scientists are explaining why it is so; but that is one of the joys of scientific exploration, you learn how creative scientists are."

[If fuel is not a limiter to lifetime of spacecraft, is there something more likely to limit it?]
McCoy: "Fuel is not the only issue. For a mission like this, you size the solar arrays for leaving earth, so there is a fair amount of margin. Batteries are probably not an issue. Probably what does happen is that the thermal protection degrades with time. The satellite can get quite warm. We may have to shut down some instruments, tailor operations depending on the heat situation."

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#44 2006-04-13 13:05:45

Julius Caeser
Member
From: Malta
Registered: 2004-03-25
Posts: 105

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Venus express initial data out!Teaser south pole images of Venus herald a great mission from ESA.Keep it up boys! wink

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#45 2006-04-15 02:29:21

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM9FZNFGLE_index_0.html

Wow, see those swirls!

Scientists are especially intrigued by the dark vortex shown almost directly over the south pole, a previously suspected but until now unconfirmed structure that corresponds to a similar cloud structure over the north pole.

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#46 2006-05-08 09:08:57

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,829

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

Mirror jams on Venus Express spacecraft is stuck, rendering the device useless until mission controllers can move it to its proper position.

The probe, which entered orbit around Venus on 11 April 2006, has been unable to swivel a pointing mirror that is part of the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) instrument.

The mirror sits in front of an interferometer and directs incoming light from either the planet itself, cold space or an internal black body used for calibration.

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#47 2006-05-09 14:44:02

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

ESA says that VEX is now in its final operational orbit .

No mention of a problem with the instrument mirror.

As of the 9-day capture orbit, Venus Express had to perform a series of further manoeuvres to gradually reduce the apocentre and the pericentre altitudes over the planet. This was achieved by means of the spacecraft main engine – which had to be fired twice during this period (on 20 and 23 April 2006) - and through the banks of Venus Express’ thrusters – ignited five times


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#48 2007-01-21 06:00:47

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

No. 61 - Routine Mission Operations
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object … ctid=40528
16 Jan 2007 08:57


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#49 2007-04-08 11:13:59

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

ESA Venus Express Status Report No. 70 - Mission Update
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=23804


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#50 2007-05-08 14:56:12

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Venus Express - ESA orbiter

News
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Expre … 81F_0.html
Venus Express’ infrared camera goes filming


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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