PDA

View Full Version : Venus Express orbit insertion



01101001
2006-Mar-11, 08:15 AM
One month to go.

Scheduled arrival: April 11, 2006, roughly around 0800 European time.

ESA: Venus Express (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/index.html)

ESA TV Live: NEXT: Next Stop Venus – Arrival of Venus Express at Destination (http://television.esa.int/photos/Astra.pdf)


The next ESA TV live transmissions on Astra 1G will be produced on 11 April 2006 to mark the arrival of Venus Express at destination. More detailed information will be posted early April 2006, on this Web page.

mickal555
2006-Mar-11, 09:39 AM
I'll have to make sure I don't miss this one- like I missed the mars one...

tusenfem
2006-Mar-12, 09:59 PM
Anyone in the neighbourhood of Graz (Austria) can probably come to the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. We are planning on having a small VOI event.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Mar-13, 02:27 AM
The VEX mission or Venus-Express looks great, just like the MRO & MarsExpress orbit insertion the Venus spacecraft will use its main engine to reduce its velocity so that it is captured by Venusian gravity - Venus Express will take 5 days to maneuver into its operation orbit, looping around the poles of the planet. The craft was inspired by other designs and is outfitted with much of the spare parts from the Mars Express and the Rosetta mission. The ESA craft has been changed to cope with higher radiation and stronger thermal environments. The spacecraft will study the run-away greenhouse effect and explore the Venutian atmosphere where scientists want to understand the origin of violent winds which blow around the planet.The mission is planned to last for 500 Earth days (approximately two Venusian years).


the UT site has been following the mission very closely since development.
http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/venus.html

Venus Express thread
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=445445

some news sites
http://www.venustoday.com/
http://www.spacedaily.com/Venusian_Heat.html

01101001
2006-Mar-13, 04:20 PM
(Venus Express Status Report Archive (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31575&farchive_objecttypeid=30&farchive_objectid=30930))

Venus Express Status Report March 13 (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=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.

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 068, 13:00) Venus Express was 73 million km from the Earth, 106.3 million km from the Sun, and 12.4 million km from Venus. The one-way signal travel time was 244 seconds.

jkmccrann
2006-Mar-13, 07:12 PM
Have to say, this is one mission I'm quite excited about. Compared to Mars, the coddled younger brother, Venus sometimes seems like the forgotten twin!

Launch window
2006-Mar-16, 06:02 AM
Have to say, this is one mission I'm quite excited about. Compared to Mars, the coddled younger brother, Venus sometimes seems like the forgotten twin!

about 25 days to go

01101001
2006-Mar-21, 11:48 PM
Three weeks to Venus Express April 11 orbit insertion.

ESA: Join ESA on the Venus observation campaign (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEM6FWNVGJE_0.html)


If you are an advanced amateur astronomer and want to contribute to the Venus Express mission, prepare your telescope and look at the sky for the Morning Star.

Your images and data taken from the ground will complement the spacecraft's observations from Venusian orbit.

(Venus Express Status Report Archive (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31575&farchive_objecttypeid=30&farchive_objectid=30930))

Venus Express Status Report March 21, Final Venus Approach Phase (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=38964):


Report for period 10 March to 16 March 2006
The reporting period has marked the start of the final Venus approach phase. All activites will now focus on the navigation and preparation for the Venus Orbit Insertion operations.
[...]
Venus Express was 83 million km from the Earth, 105.4 million km from the Sun, and 10.1 million km from Venus. The one-way signal travel time was 278 seconds.
[...]
The intense navigation campaign is currently at a period of maximum activity in order to have an extremely precise assessment of the spacecraft trajectory versus its target point at the planet.

During the next reporting period the spacecraft will reach its perihelion (which is inside the Venus orbit around the Sun). The trajectory will then cross the orbital path of Venus on 11 April - when the orbit insertion manoeuvre will take place.

01101001
2006-Mar-22, 06:02 AM
Ah. I finally found the orbit insertion time. ESA sure can make things hard to find. NASA seems to do a better job of laying out event timelines.

I stumbled upon Venus Express Cruise Phase (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=33947):


11 April 2006 - 08:32:47 UT -- Venus Orbit Insertion
That's 11 April 01:32:47 PDT and 04:32:47 EDT (Note: Daylight time). I don't know if that is local Venus Express time or Earth-received time, or if it refers to begin orbit insertion burn, or end orbit insertion burn.

And then moving to Venus Orbit Insertion (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=38947) to get the burn time:


On arrival at Venus, the spacecraft will use its main engine to reduce its velocity so that it is captured by the planet's gravity. The capture burn required is rather large (1246.28 ms-1, total duration of about 53 minutes) and Venus Express will be inserted initially into a highly elliptical polar orbit with a pericentre altitude of about 250 kilometres, an apocentre altitude of 220 000 kilometres, and a period of about 5.5 Earth days.
That should make it about -- if above "orbit insertion" means "begin orbit insertion burn":
11 April 2006 09:25:47 UT [02:25:47 PDT, 05:25:47 EDT] End of burn

After insertion, for a few weeks, there is further maneuvering:


15 April 2006: Pericentre Control Manoeuvre #1
20 April 2006: Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #1
23 April 2006: Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #2
26 April 2006: Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #3
30 April 2006: Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #4
3 May 2006: Apocentre Trim 2
6 May 2006: Pericentre Control Manoeuvre #2
Maybe someday, we can find some of the other event times. Does it need to slew for communications, or change communications methods? Will there be a loss-of-signal and an (re-)acquisition-of-signal? Anything else happening that can be anxiously awaited?

Edit: unbolded some event times, and provide this caveat: the orbit-insertion event times and durations, above, conflict with more recent documents cited in subsequent articles, below (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=712447#post712447).

Launch window
2006-Mar-22, 09:26 AM
After insertion, for a few weeks, there is further maneuvering:


Seems it will take a while before it will be fully operational much like we are now waiting for more MRO news

Launch window
2006-Mar-22, 05:25 PM
VenusExpress-PFS is Dead !??

Final Venus Approach Phase
21 Mar 2006 09:31
In December 2005, during the first planned activation of the instruments, various calibration activities showed that the instrument sensor is working perfectly, but revealed that the instrument scanner is stuck in its closed position, inside the instrument box.
Several attempts to move it were made at the time, but the instrument did not respond. Experts then initiated a number of ground tests with a spare model of the scanner, and suspected a thermal problem by which low temperatures were blocking the rotation of the mechanism.
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=38964
Another attempt to move the scanner was made on 16 March 2006, in warmer flight conditions. Unfortunately, the scanner remains stuck.
The next opportunity to perform another test on the spacecraft will be end of April, after the Venus Orbit Insertion. In the mean time, PFS will remain switched off with the scanner in a safe closed position.

I wonder if this is a design flaw ? I recall Mars Express also had some inital trouble trying to use some of its instruments ( Venus Express got built from re-using Rosetta and MarsExpress instruments )

Launch window
2006-Mar-23, 08:14 AM
observation campaign
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM6FWNVGJE_index_0.html
http://esamultimedia.esa.int/multimedia/esc/eyes_on_hot_planet.mp3
& podcast

01101001
2006-Mar-28, 12:10 AM
Less than 15 days to Venus Express April 11 orbit insertion.

Ah. They provide some details of orbit-insertion events.

ESA: Mission control team readies for Venus arrival (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMJITM65LE_0.html)


Controllers will command the spacecraft to 'slew' (rotate) so as to point the engine nozzle in the direction of motion starting at 08:03 (all times CEST on Earth) 11 April. Venus Express will perform an approximately 51-minute main engine burn starting at 09:19.
[...]
During the engine burn, the spacecraft will also enter an occultation, which occurs when Venus Express travels behind the planet so that the line of site to Earth is blocked; it will lose radio contact for almost 10 minutes. Controllers will closely watch for reacquisition of radio contact once the occultation ends at 09:56.
[...]
During orbit insertion, the spacecraft will be 125 000 000 kilometres from Earth and the round-trip signal time will be 13 minutes and 32 seconds.


Events, as I currently understand (Edit: Official version is here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=715646#post715646)):

Begin slew to aim engines -- 0803 CEST, 0603 UTC, 0203 EDT, (April 10) 2303 PDT
Begin 51-min. burn -- 0919 CEST, 0719 UTC, 0319 EDT, 0019 PDT
Approx. 10-min. loss of signal -- 0946 CEST, 0746 UTC, 0346 EDT, 0046 PDT
Reacquisition of signal -- 0956 CEST, 0756 UTC, 0356 EDT, 0056 PDT
End of burn -- 1010 CEST, 0810 UTC, 0410 EDT, 0110 PDT

(Venus Express Status Report Archive (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31575&farchive_objecttypeid=30&farchive_objectid=30930))

Venus Express Status Report March 27, Perihelion Passage onto Venus Approach (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=38992):


Report for period 17 March to 23 March 2006

The Venus approach phase is proceeding according to schedule with all planned activities conducted successfully.

The latest assessment of the trajectory has confirmed the need for a Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre to be executed at VOI - 13 days. This manoeuvre will set the spacecraft on the final trajectory to the target point for arrival.
[...]
On DoY 080 (21 March) Venus Express reached its closest point to the Sun (about 105.27 million km). The spacecraft is now heading away from the Sun and will re-cross the orbit of Venus on 11 April.

VenusROVER
2006-Mar-28, 12:57 AM
Somebody tell me about this mission I no nothing on what the heck its doing

antoniseb
2006-Mar-28, 01:00 AM
Somebody tell me about this mission I no nothing on what the heck its doing

There is a link to an excellent site about Venus Express on the first post in this thread. It is an ESA mission.

Launch window
2006-Mar-30, 04:09 PM
11 days left

01101001
2006-Mar-31, 08:56 PM
Finally, a real event timeline:

Venus Orbit Insertion timeline (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMMM0NFGLE_0.html)

April 11

My estimate, 0801 [CEST; 0601 UTC; 0201 EDT; April 10 2301 PDT] Begin slew to aim main engine


Time (CEST) Event

09:17 [CEST; 0717 UTC; 0317 EDT; 0017 PDT] VEX main engine burn starts
Venus Express's main engine is due to fire for approximately 51 minutes.

09:45 [CEST; 0745 UTC; 0345 EDT; 0045 PDT] Occultation starts (loss of S-band signal)
An occultation occurs when Venus Express travels behind the planet so that the line of site to Earth is blocked; it will lose radio contact (S-band) for almost 10 minutes. During the journey to Venus, communication has been in X-band, via the high-gain antenna HGA2. During VOI, communications reverted to S-Band.

09:55 [CEST; 0755 UTC; 0355 EDT; 0055 PDT] Occultation ends
Controllers will closely watch for reacquisition of radio contact once the occultation ends.

10:07 [CEST; 0807 UTC; 0407 EDT; 0107 PDT] VEX main engine burn ends

10:10 [CEST; 0810 UTC; 0410 EDT; 0110 PDT] Announcement by Flight Operations Director

11.07 [CEST; 0907 UTC; 0507 EDT; 0207 PDT] X-band transmitter on
S-band provides omnidirectional coverage for both up and downlink over small distances, while X-band provides a high-rate data downlink and a telecommand uplink while in Venus orbit.

11:12 [CEST; 0912 UTC; 0512 EDT; 0212 PDT] Telemetry received

11:30-12:15 [CEST; 0930-1015 UTC; 0530-0615 EDT; 0230-0315 PDT] Press Conference

All times above are 'Earth Received' time - i.e. after the actual events have taken place at the spacecraft. During orbit insertion, the spacecraft will be 125 000 000 kilometres from Earth and the round-trip signal time will be 13 minutes and 32 seconds.

Edit: Added guess at initial slew maneuver and note about Earth-received time.

01101001
2006-Mar-31, 09:01 PM
Venus within ESA probe reach (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEME02NFGLE_0.html)


31 March 2006
PR 12-2006. After its five-month, 400-million-kilometre journey inside our Solar System following its lift-off on 9 November 2005, ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft will finally arrive on 11 April at its destination: planet Venus.

Venus Express mission controllers at the ESA Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, are making intensive preparations for orbit insertion.

[...]

ESA TV will cover this event live from ESOC in Darmstadt. The live transmission will be carried free-to-air. For broadcasters, complete details of the various satellite feeds are listed at http://television.esa.int.

The event will be covered on the web at http://venus.esa.int. The website will feature regular updates, including video coverage of the press conference and podcast from the control room at ESA’s Space Operations Centre.

Amateur eyes on a hot planet (podcast, part 2) (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESApod/SEMSG3OVGJE_0.html)

10+ days to Venus Express orbit insertion.

Wolverine
2006-Apr-04, 04:59 AM
I'm very much looking forward to this -- most exciting!

01101001
2006-Apr-04, 06:26 AM
Seven days until the excitement begins.

tusenfem
2006-Apr-04, 11:56 AM
Okay, we had a VEX MAG meeting here in Graz. The magnetometers are working perfectly (apart from the usual cleanup that needs to be done, because of lack of magnetic cleanlyness of the spacecraft)

Tuesday it will be there! YEAH! For all that would like to see what the orbit over the first 500 days looks like, I will put a link to a nice poster here (ftp://ftp.iwf.oeaw.ac.at/pub/volwerk/VEX-RSSD-PO-001_6_-_VEX_Science_Overview_2006Mar17.pdf) (3MB) which gives a good overview.

MMMM it will be fun, working with the new data soon.

Launch window
2006-Apr-04, 10:17 PM
6 days left ?

01101001
2006-Apr-04, 10:37 PM
(Venus Express Status Report Archive (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31575&farchive_objecttypeid=30&farchive_objectid=30930))

Venus Express Status Report April 3, Targeting for Venus Orbit Insertion (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39030):


03 Apr 2006 10:25

Report for period 24 March to 30 March 2006
The Venus approach phase is proceeding according to plan with all activities conducted successfully.

A Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre of about 13 cm s-1 has been executed in the evening of 29 March to reduce the pericenter altitude at Venus arrival by a bit more than 100 kilometres. The latest calibration of the nominal TCM gives the following results (uncertainties are 1-sigma):

magnitude error = -1.2 mm/s (-0.9% +/- 2.1%)
direction error = 0.8 deg +/- 0.3 deg

The final calibration will be made on 3 April. The current orbit determination does not show the need for any further trajectory correction.
[...]
At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 089, 13:00) Venus Express was at 104 million km from the Earth, 105.9 million km from the Sun, and 4.8 million km from Venus. The one-way signal travel time was 347 seconds.
It presents yet another timeline of April 11 events, this time with second-precision:


Event -- Spacecraft Time (UTC) / Ground Receive Time [UTC; Time EDT; Time PDT]

VOI LSP start -- 07:08:16 / 07:15:01 [UTC; 03:15:01 EDT; 00:15:01 PDT]
VOI main engine start -- 07:10:46 / 07:17:31 [UTC; 03:17:31 EDT; 00:17:31 PDT]
Pericentre passage -- 07:36:37
Eclipse start -- 07:37:53
Occultation start -- 07:38:37 / 07:45:23 [UTC; 03:45:23 EDT; 00:45:23 PDT]
Occultation end -- 07:48:25 / 07:55:10 [UTC; 03:55:10 EDT; 00:55:10 PDT]
Eclipse end -- 07:55:13
VOI burn end -- 08:00:39 / 08:07:25 [UTC; 04:07:25 EDT; 01:07:25 PDT]

01101001
2006-Apr-07, 10:37 AM
Less than 4 days to Venus Orbit Insertion, April 11

(Venus Express Status Report Archive (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31575&farchive_objecttypeid=30&farchive_objectid=30930))

Venus Express Status Report April 7, Final Preparations for Orbit Insertion (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39059):


07 Apr 2006 11:14

Report for period 31 March to 06 April 2006
The Venus approach phase is proceeding according to plan with all activities conducted successfully. The last week has been dedicated to the spacecraft preparation for the capture burn to take place on 11 April. The fuel and oxidiser tanks have been pressurised and the helium tank is being warmed-up to properly sustain the main engine burn.

The last orbit determination performed during the reporting period has confirmed a good targeting and will be now used to produce the parameters to be commanded for the burn.
Oh boy, a new estimated timeline, with events adjusted by just a few seconds.


The current nominal times for the events during Venus Orbit Insertion on Tuesday 11 April 2006 (DoY 101) are:

Event -- Spacecraft Time (UTC) / Ground Receive Time [UTC; Time EDT; Time PDT]

[From another source, Begin slew to aim engine -- 05:56 / 06:03 [UTC; 02:03 EDT; April 10 23:03 PDT]]

VOI LSP start -- 07:07:59 / 07:14:44 [UTC; 03:14:44 EDT; 00:14:44 PDT]
VOI main engine start -- 07:10:29 / 07:17:14 [UTC; 03:17:14 EDT; 00:17:14 PDT]
Pericentre passage -- 07:36:37
Eclipse start -- 07:37:45
Occultation start -- 07:38:27 / 07:45:12 [UTC; 03:45:12 EDT; 00:45:12 PDT]
Occultation end -- 07:48:33 / 07:55:18 [UTC; 03:55:18 EDT; 00:55:18 PDT]
Eclipse end -- 07:55:13
VOI burn end -- 08:00:42 / 08:07:28 [UTC; 04:07:28 EDT; 01:07:28 PDT]

Due to the sensitivity to the predicted minimum altitude, the expected occultation start and end times may still change by up to a few seconds until the final estimates are made on Monday.

ESA Feature Story: ESA’s Venus Express to reach final destination (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEM0UGNFGLE_0.html)

ESA Venus Express Home (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/index.html)

Launch window
2006-Apr-08, 10:18 AM
some news

venus express (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM0UGNFGLE_index_0.html)

Timeline of major VOI events

01101001
2006-Apr-09, 07:19 AM
48 hours until Venus Express Orbit Insertion start of burn, 0717 UTC, April 11.

Launch window
2006-Apr-09, 07:36 AM
48 hours

great ! Not long to go, NASA gave MRO good coverage I hope ESA do the same with Venus

01101001
2006-Apr-10, 07:20 PM
12 hours to Venus Express Orbit Insertion

VOI main engine start -- 07:10:29 / 07:17:14 [UTC; 03:17:14 EDT; 00:17:14 PDT]

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 03:19 AM
4 hours to Venus Express Orbit Insertion Start of Burn

Good timeline at Planetary Society Weblog: Timeline of tomorrow's Venus Orbit Insertion events (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000529/)

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Apr-11, 03:31 AM
4 hours to Venus Express Orbit Insertion Start of Burn

3hrs 40 mins - let's hope it goes well

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 05:06 AM
1 hour to start of slew at 06:03 UTC; 02:03 EDT; 23:03 PDT

2:14 to start of burn at 07:17 UTC; 03:17 EDT; 00:17 PDT

Webcast availability uncertain. Anyone know for sure? Some sites purport that ESA TV (http://television.esa.int/) will have it, but I can't tell if that site is just for ESA TV satellite broadcast schedules, or actually provides webcasts.

The Venus Express Home Page (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/index.html) has a link to the ESOC Main Control Room webcam (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMN3Y274OD_0.html). It's hard to see anything going on there, but it seems to be up, updating once a minute.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Apr-11, 05:32 AM
planet Venus blogged

http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/04/10/back-to-venus/

Maksutov
2006-Apr-11, 05:35 AM
1 hour to start of slew at 06:03 UTC; 02:03 EDT; 23:03 PDT

2:14 to start of burn at 07:17 UTC; 03:17 EDT; 00:17 PDT

Webcast availability uncertain. Anyone know for sure? Some sites purport that ESA TV (http://television.esa.int/) will have it, but I can't tell if that site is just for ESA TV satellite broadcast schedules, or actually provides webcasts.

The Venus Express Home Page (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/index.html) has a link to the ESOC Main Control Room webcam (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMN3Y274OD_0.html). It's hard to see anything going on there, but it seems to be up, updating once a minute.Looks like your information is accurate. I couldn't find any webcasts either. Even Spaceflight Now and Space Daily don't have anything covering this event. Only those who can access the satellite specified on the ESA television page can see and hear this event, it would appear.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 05:46 AM
Looks like your information is accurate. I couldn't find any webcasts either. Even Spaceflight Now and Space Daily don't have anything covering this event. Only those who can access the satellite specified on the ESA television page can see and hear this event, it would appear.

Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla is in Darmstadt at the ESOC, so maybe she'll keep her blog (http://planetary.org/blog/) up-to-date with event statuses. It's a hope.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 06:05 AM
Start of slew should have begun (Earth-received). Takes about 30 minutes.

1:14 until start of burn.

Event times from above:


Event -- Spacecraft Time (UTC) / Ground Receive Time [UTC; Time EDT; Time PDT]

[From another source, Begin slew to aim engine -- 05:56 / 06:03 [UTC; 02:03 EDT; April 10 23:03 PDT]]

VOI LSP start -- 07:07:59 / 07:14:44 [UTC; 03:14:44 EDT; 00:14:44 PDT]
VOI main engine start -- 07:10:29 / 07:17:14 [UTC; 03:17:14 EDT; 00:17:14 PDT]
Pericentre passage -- 07:36:37
Eclipse start -- 07:37:45
Occultation start -- 07:38:27 / 07:45:12 [UTC; 03:45:12 EDT; 00:45:12 PDT]
Occultation end -- 07:48:33 / 07:55:18 [UTC; 03:55:18 EDT; 00:55:18 PDT]
Eclipse end -- 07:55:13
VOI burn end -- 08:00:42 / 08:07:28 [UTC; 04:07:28 EDT; 01:07:28 PDT]

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 06:52 AM
30 minutes to start of burn at 17 past the hour

Emily Lakadawall will be posting updates to the Planetary Society Weblog (http://planetary.org/blog/):


After an all-too-short night I am back at ESOC for the big show surrounding the arrival of Venus Express at Venus. The main engine burn is due to begin in under an hour.
[...]
Once I get news about a status change on the spacecraft, I'll have to dash down the hall to the press center to file my next blog entry. So my next note probably won't show up until 9:30 local time (07:30 UTC)...

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 07:12 AM
10 minutes to start of burn.

Actually, at distant Venus the burn begins at 10 minutes past the hour (about now), but ESA doesn't learn of the fact until earth-received time of 17 past the hour.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 07:19 AM
The 50-minute burn should be underway and being monitored now.

Go VEX!

Launch window
2006-Apr-11, 07:21 AM
30 minutes to start of burn at 17 past the hour

Emily Lakadawall will be posting updates to the Planetary Society Weblog (http://planetary.org/blog/):

Thanks for the heads-up

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 07:26 AM
Emily (http://planetary.org/blog/):


It started right on time -- Venus Express is braking into orbit!

ESA: Venus Express main engine burn starts (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEM7CPNFGLE_0.html)


At 09:17 CEST today, Venus Express started its main engine burn. The burn, to last 50 minutes, will slow down the spacecraft and allow the capture into orbit around Venus. The main engine burn started a few minutes after the firing of the spacecraft thrusters, to make sure the propellant settles in the feed lines to the main engine.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 07:47 AM
Now: Occultation start -- 07:38:27 / 07:45:12 [UTC; 03:45:12 EDT; 00:45:12 PDT]

Next: Occultation end -- 07:48:33 / 07:55:18 [UTC; 03:55:18 EDT; 00:55:18 PDT]

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 07:56 AM
Venus Express Orbit Insertion Timeline (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39060) appears to be checking off the events as they happen. So far so good.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 07:58 AM
Now: Occultation end -- 07:48:33 / 07:55:18 [UTC; 03:55:18 EDT; 00:55:18 PDT]

Next: VOI burn end -- 08:00:42 / 08:07:28 [UTC; 04:07:28 EDT; 01:07:28 PDT]

Emily (http://planetary.org/blog/): Occultation seemed to start as predicted. Waiting for reaquisition.

kg034
2006-Apr-11, 08:02 AM
S-band detected, very low signal
http://planetary.org/blog/article/00000533/

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:03 AM
Emily (http://planetary.org/blog/):


After some very tense moments the S-band signal was recaptured, very weakly; Martin Ransom on ESA TV said that the delay is because the signal is weak and needs to be searched for...the S-band signal is driven by the spacecraft's own oscillator, which is more noisy than some, and the DSN took some time to reacquire the signal. The tensest moments yet this morning by far. But it looks like it is still there...now, is its main engine still burning? One presumes so, but I don't know...

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-11, 08:04 AM
Man I hate the tension and love it all at the same time! Go Venus Express, go!

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:07 AM
120 seconds until: VOI burn end -- 08:00:42 / 08:07:28 [UTC; 04:07:28 EDT; 01:07:28 PDT]

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:10 AM
Burn should be over and news of it reaching Earth now.

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-11, 08:11 AM
I wonder if signal strength has gotten better...I hope they have positive lock by now.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:11 AM
Emily (http://planetary.org/blog/):


The main engine has shut down exactly on time!

Yay!

We've got an orbit.

kg034
2006-Apr-11, 08:11 AM
Main engine shutdown on time

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-11, 08:11 AM
The main engine has shut down exactly on time!

YES!

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-11, 08:14 AM
Just think, three other planets now have at least one orbiter circling them. Exciting stuff!

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:17 AM
Congratulations to Venus Express, the VEX team, and ESA!


Next, times approximate, from an old event timeline: Waiting for good health report.


11.07 [CEST; 0907 UTC; 0507 EDT; 0207 PDT] X-band transmitter on
S-band provides omnidirectional coverage for both up and downlink over small distances, while X-band provides a high-rate data downlink and a telecommand uplink while in Venus orbit.

11:12 [CEST; 0912 UTC; 0512 EDT; 0212 PDT] Telemetry received

11:30-12:15 [CEST; 0930-1015 UTC; 0530-0615 EDT; 0230-0315 PDT] Press Conference

kg034
2006-Apr-11, 08:19 AM
Well, hopefully the X-band antenna wakes up :).....and confirms everything is ok.....
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000534/

Its been fun hanging-out here tonight with you gentlemen. :)

Sticks
2006-Apr-11, 08:20 AM
Reverend Love Joy's wife (The Simpsons)

"Won't someone please think of the children"



....is there an airfix kit model of the Venus Express we can get and make up :D

Well done ESA :dance:

When does the data come in?

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-11, 08:27 AM
When does the data come in?

They're suppose to release the first images 48 hours after VOI.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:29 AM
When does the data come in?

Emily (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000533/) said:


Also, another useful tidbit this morning, is that Venus Express Project Scientist Håkan Svedhem reported on when the first images are expected: about 48 hours after VOI. They will be released to the public, the program moderator said, on April 13 after 4:00 p.m., I presume she meant Central Euroupean Summer Time, or 14:00 UTC. I will certainly be looking for those.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:31 AM
Now there is time to say -- besides congratulations for the feat -- shame on ESA for not providing better news coverage to the fans. Bad PR!

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 08:35 AM
ESA: Watch the Venus Express orbit insertion highlights and press conference (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMIRONFGLE_0.html)


You can follow the Venus Express orbit insertion manoeuvre from this page in a number of different ways - webcam, streaming, podcast and video on demand.

The live streaming of the press conference announcing the result of the Venus Orbit Insertion manoeuvres will start at 11:30 CEST [0930 UTC; 0530 EDT; 0230 PDT] and will be available for about one hour. Video on demand of the press conference will be available shortly afterwards.

Links provided.

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-11, 08:37 AM
Now there is time to say -- besides congratulations for the feat -- shame on ESA for not providing better news coverage to the fans. Bad PR!

And with that bit of truth I bid you all farewell. Thanks for the timely updates 01101001! It's always fun to follow these missions during their arrival.

*Yawns --- sleepy*

Launch window
2006-Apr-11, 08:45 AM
They're suppose to release the first images 48 hours after VOI.

Looking good so far, sounds like ESA just entered venusian orbit

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Apr-11, 09:08 AM
Venus Express Enters Orbit
10 Apr 2006
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39060
Venus Express has arrived at Venus after a 50 minute burn of the main engine and entered orbit around the planet.

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 09:15 AM
If all went right, should be receiving good X-band telemetry now.

Coming up:
11:30-12:15 [CEST; 0930-1015 UTC; 0530-0615 EDT; 0230-0315 PDT] Press Conference (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMIRONFGLE_0.html)

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 09:22 AM
Emily (http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00000536/)


This is the last piece of critical information from the orbit insertion maneuver -- they have announced that they do in fact have telemetry from the spacecraft!

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 09:43 AM
ESA: Europe scores new planetary success: Venus Express enters orbit around the Hothouse Planet (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM2GQNFGLE_index_0.html)


During the next four weeks, the Venus Express probe will perform a series of manoeuvres to reach the scheduled operational orbit for its scientific mission. It will move from its current highly elongated 9-day orbit to a 24-hour polar orbit, culminating at 66,000 kilometres. From this vantage point, the orbiter will conduct an in-depth observation of the structure, chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus for at least two Venusian days (486 Earth days).

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 09:47 AM
It's 15 minutes past start time and I'm not getting any action on my press conference window.

I'll pass. Bedtime!

tusenfem
2006-Apr-11, 10:20 AM
The press conference started on the web around 11:40 CEST, but before that, we here in Graz got our info from our people in Darmstadt, and the X -band signal was found by the radio telescope. Everything seems to be going well. Can't wait till tomorrow, when our magnetometer will be switched on again.

ryanmercer
2006-Apr-11, 12:04 PM
Hrmmm... I was just thinking last night... we've got a presence all over our solar system now... isn't it rad? :)

naelphin
2006-Apr-11, 03:19 PM
Still none for Neptune or Uranus, unless you count the Voyagers. Not quite all yet!

ToSeek
2006-Apr-11, 05:04 PM
Inside Earth's orbit: MESSENGER and Venus Express
At Mars: MGS, Odyssey, Mars Express, Spirit, Opportunity, MRO
Between Mars and Jupiter: New Horizons
At Saturn: Cassini
Beyond Pluto: Voyager 1 and 2

Did I miss anything?

Hamlet
2006-Apr-11, 05:08 PM
Inside Earth's orbit: MESSENGER and Venus Express
At Mars: MGS, Odyssey, Mars Express, Spirit, Opportunity, MRO
Between Mars and Jupiter: New Horizons
At Saturn: Cassini
Beyond Pluto: Voyager 1 and 2

Did I miss anything?

How about Pioneer 10 & Pioneer 11?

01101001
2006-Apr-11, 06:08 PM
ESA: Watch the Venus Express orbit insertion highlights and press conference (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMIRONFGLE_0.html)


Press conference replays are available. It's mostly congratulations and celebration. They don't say a lot about science.

Lord Jubjub
2006-Apr-12, 01:51 AM
P10 and P11 are essentially dead. I don't think we have received a signal from them for quite a few years, correct?

Launch window
2006-Apr-12, 04:02 AM
Did I miss anything?
Of course you did,
Ulysses it's been doing an exploration of our Sun and Jupiter
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1990-090B
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=38804


Great to see the Venus Express orbit insertion went well

Hamlet
2006-Apr-12, 02:33 PM
P10 and P11 are essentially dead. I don't think we have received a signal from them for quite a few years, correct?

Yes, that's true. I wasn't sure if ToSeek was listing only those probes we were in contact with or was just listing a general inventory. The last received signal from Pioneer 10 was on January 23, 2003. There was an attempt last month to listen for a signal, but none was received. The last signal from Pioneer 11 was on September 30, 1995.

We may want to add the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to the list. It's currently in hibernation mode, but may be re-activated if a new target can be found. We may yet get more science from the probe.

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-12, 09:47 PM
We may want to add the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to the list. It's currently in hibernation mode, but may be re-activated if a new target can be found. We may yet get more science from the probe.

The same goes for Stardust who may just get a shot to rendezvous with Temple 1.

Sticks
2006-Apr-12, 09:56 PM
What happened to the Mariner series of probes?

badprof
2006-Apr-12, 10:08 PM
Inside Earth's orbit: MESSENGER and Venus Express
At Mars: MGS, Odyssey, Mars Express, Spirit, Opportunity, MRO
Between Mars and Jupiter: New Horizons
At Saturn: Cassini
Beyond Pluto: Voyager 1 and 2

Did I miss anything?

Yes, Rosetta.

publiusr
2006-Apr-12, 10:22 PM
Any pictures of Venus' nice clouds? I guess MRO spoiled me.

Omicron Persei 8
2006-Apr-13, 12:39 AM
Any pictures of Venus' nice clouds? I guess MRO spoiled me.

Thanks to an infrared instrument similar to the one on Cassini we'll see a whole lot more than clouds. We should see the surface just as we're seeing Titan's surface.

Edit: Ah here it is. (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=33964&fbodylongid=1447)

01101001
2006-Apr-13, 01:12 AM
Any pictures of Venus' nice clouds?
Yesterday, Emily Lakdawalla reported the first images might come in around 1400 UTC, April 13. Sketchy details at Planetary Society Weblog (http://planetary.org/blog/article/00000533/).

tusenfem
2006-Apr-13, 09:56 AM
Press conference replays are available. It's mostly congratulations and celebration. They don't say a lot about science.

That is basically because the science instruments were not switched on untill 24 hours after VOI. Yesterday, we heard from our people in Darmstadt that the magnetometer was switched on successfully and all parameters were normal. The first data also have been send to ground, I have not have the time to look at them, but some engineers are working on it as I am typing.

01101001
2006-Apr-13, 01:52 PM
That is basically because the science instruments were not switched on untill 24 hours after VOI.
OK. They didn't say much about engineering, either.

They could have talked about science. I wasn't expecting science results. But, they could have talked about geekier stuff. The hugs and back-patting are fine. I appreciate the need to celebrate. I just wanted more yummy content. It was a press conference about a mission to another planet after all.

ToSeek
2006-Apr-13, 02:09 PM
Yes, Rosetta.

Probably should have added in Deep Impact, too, come to think of it.

I avoided including any inactive probes and any solar missions, else I would have had to include SOHO, Ulysses, ACE, and I'm not sure what else.

Squink
2006-Apr-13, 04:48 PM
ESA's Venus Express has returned the first-ever images of the hothouse planet’s south pole from a distance of 206 452 kilometres, showing surprisingly clear structures and unexpected detail. The images were taken 12 April during the spacecraft’s initial capture orbit after successful arrival on 11 April 2006. (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMUTYNFGLE_0.html)

CJSF
2006-Apr-13, 05:11 PM
ToSeeked (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=40429) by Kullat Nunu.

CJSF

publiusr
2006-Apr-13, 05:46 PM
Great image. I want to see an equitorial view next, though the view of the pole is great. That looks like a big circular storm at the pole.

01101001
2006-Apr-26, 03:15 PM
A couple of Venus Express status reports since the start of orbit insertion:

(Venus Express Status Report Archive (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31575&farchive_objecttypeid=30&farchive_objectid=30930))

Venus Express Status Report April 19, Successful Orbit Insertion (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39112):


Report for period 7 April - 13 April 2006

After 5 months of cruise phase Venus Express has been inserted into a Venus orbit on 11 April (DoY 101) at about 08:00 UTC with a successful burn of its Main Engine which has slowed down the spacecraft such that it could be captured by the gravity of the planet.

All operations leading to the burn and immediately after have been nominal both on the space and the ground segments.
Venus Express Status Report April 24, Orbital Control Manoeuvres (http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39138):


Report for period 14 April - 20 April 2006

The 9-days capture orbit has been successfully completed with the first of five Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvres on DoY 110 at about 08:00 UTC (200 ms-1). This manoeuvre has set the spacecraft onto an orbit with a period of about 40 hours and an apocenter altitude of 99 000 km.
[...]
Future Milestones
The spacecraft is now in the apocentre lowering phase and currently in a 40-hour orbit. After 2 revolutions on this orbit another firing of the Main Engine (104 ms-1, ALM#2) on 23 April will bring down the period to about 26 hours and the apocenter altitude to 70 463 km. This will be the last firing of the Main Engine.

The next manoeuvre (ALM#3, 10 ms-1, 26 April) will be executed with the 10 N thrusters. The Venus Orbit Commissioning will start on 22 April with MAG real-time operations and VMC out of pass observation. Payload operations will be interleaved throughout the orbit insertion phase with manoeuvres required to reach the target operational orbit on 7 May.