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Fraser
2006-May-10, 07:13 PM
SUMMARY: After a month of maneuvering, ESA's Venus Express has reached its final science orbit. The spacecraft made its final maneuver on May 6, firings its engines to tighten its orbit to one that ranges between 66,000 and 250 km (41,000 and 155 miles) above the planet. Its scientific instruments will now be turned on and tested over the course of May. This will make the spacecraft ready for its science phase, due to begin on June 4, 2006.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/final_venus_exp.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

firstcontact
2006-May-10, 11:01 PM
FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pictures please!

Ray Bingham
2006-May-13, 04:19 PM
All this money spent to send a robot to Venus and we are not going to ever get one real picture from the surface. What a shame. I'm sure we will get some data that someone in a backroom somewhere will enjoy receiving but he didn't pay for it "We" did.

Isn't it about time we sent something to Mercury where we can get some pictures of something or maybe even drop a rover and get some samples?

I just find it hard to get excited about an orbiter around Venus. We will never go there and probably never even put a rover on the surface. We have no real interest in whatever it is thats there. We realy only care about what has come from there (sic).

Ray Bingham

Eckelston
2006-May-13, 04:54 PM
Not to troll but Venus Express is an ESA mission. So you probably did not pay one (Euro)cent for it.

More to the point, there's more to planetary science than pretty pictures. If there wasn't it would be a terrible waste of money indeed.

Blob
2006-Nov-10, 12:07 AM
One year after its launch on 9 November 2005 and a few months into its science phase, ESA's Venus Express keeps working well and continues to gather lots of data about the hot and noxious atmosphere of the planet. Newly released images show additional details of the thick cloud deck that surrounds Venus.

Read more (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMCTD0CYTE_index_0.html)

Spacemad
2006-Nov-12, 07:38 PM
Isn't it about time we sent something to Mercury where we can get some pictures of something or maybe even drop a rover and get some samples?



Haven't you read about the MESSENGER spacecraft on its way to Mercury? it's been over two years since it was launched & has since made 1 flyby of the Earth & 2 of Venus! http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/index.php

Here is a page with some information on Mercury: http://beyondspace.info/forum/index.php?topic=51

antoniseb
2006-Nov-12, 11:08 PM
has since made 1 flyby of the Earth & 2 of Venus!
I think that is two of Earth, and one of Venus. One more Venus coming up in 200 days or so, and then a series of flybys of Mercury before setting into orbit.

Spacemad
2006-Nov-13, 08:40 AM
1st flyby

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/press_release_8_02_05.html

"One flyby down, five more to go," says Mark Holdridge, MESSENGER mission operations manager, of APL. "Now, the mission begins."

The flyby on Aug. 2 - during which MESSENGER flew within 1,458 miles (2,347 kilometers) over central Asia - sent the solar-powered NASA spacecraft toward the inner solar system and set up a flyby of Venus in October 2006. MESSENGER, short for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, will fly by Venus twice and Mercury three times before starting an unprecedented, yearlong science orbit around the innermost planet in March 2011.

2nd flyby

MESSENGER Completes Venus Flyby

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/status_report_10_24_06.html

The spacecraft is relying on multiple planetary flybys to “catch” Mercury and begin orbiting the planet. Another flyby of Venus in June of 2007 will further alter the spacecraft’s orbit so that it will fly by Mercury in January of 2008. Three close approaches to Mercury will be required to bring the velocity of MESSENGER close enough to the orbital velocity of Mercury such that its main engine can brake the spacecraft into Mercury orbit in March of 2011.

Sorry to contradict you, Antoniseb, but the above quote will show that MESSENGER flew by Earth just once. It also flew past Venus in October this year & will fly by Venus again in June next year. These flybys will set the MESSENGER on course for Mercury in a few years time.

I correct my previous post where I said that MESSENGER had passed by Venus twice - in fact it has only passed once, in October, but will pass a send time in June 2007.

clop
2006-Nov-13, 09:17 AM
Excuse my ignorance but wouldn't it be better to have just launched the Messenger probe at a greater speed than it was originally, and in a different direction, and then cut out all this having to fly back past the earth stuff?

clop

antoniseb
2006-Nov-13, 01:47 PM
Excuse my ignorance but wouldn't it be better to have just launched the Messenger probe at a greater speed than it was originally, and in a different direction, and then cut out all this having to fly back past the earth stuff?

If your budget is fixed and you could get more equipment to Mercury in a longer time, or less equipment in a shorter time, would you go for the less equipment? They chose more equipment.

antoniseb
2006-Nov-13, 01:50 PM
Sorry to contradict you, Antoniseb

If I'm wrong, no apology is needed to get the right information posted. In this case for some reason I remembered two Earth fly-bys, but I was wrong. Here's the mission plan from the website:
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/images/EarthMercuryorbitsfig1table1_sm.jpg

Spacemad
2006-Nov-14, 10:40 AM
That's alright, Antoniseb, I also made a mistake when I said MESSENGER had flown twice past Venus!

As you say while we get the correct information that's what matters.

MESSENGER will flyby Venus next year in June & then it will cooperate with Venus Express to extract the max of info from Venus.

It's good that NASA & ESA should be able to cooperate - as they are also doing at Mars.

Jerry
2006-Nov-15, 06:54 PM
The lack of a public release of more data from the Venus Express is disheartening. Half of the fun of the MER's has been exploring the planet in real 'Mars time' with the PI's - likewise, Cassini and the Saturn moons. This has not compromised the science one iota, and in fact, may have helped alert Cassini scientists to the plumes on Enceladus.

Whether paid for in Euros or dollars, scientific data is ultimately for the ages...including this one, if possible.

Spacemad
2006-Nov-20, 09:00 AM
The lack of a public release of more data from the Venus Express is disheartening. Half of the fun of the MER's has been exploring the planet in real 'Mars time' with the PI's - likewise, Cassini and the Saturn moons. This has not compromised the science one iota, and in fact, may have helped alert Cassini scientists to the plumes on Enceladus.

Whether paid for in Euros or dollars, scientific data is ultimately for the ages...including this one, if possible.


I couldn't agree with you more, Jerry! I had been looking forward to much more info on Venus Express that that we have been given. As you rightly say, science has not been compromised by the prompt release of info from Mars Express & Cassini. I have followed both missions from launch & still continue to do so! Like you I had expected more of Venus Express.

Maksutov
2006-Nov-20, 11:22 AM
The lack of a public release of more data from the Venus Express is disheartening. Half of the fun of the MER's has been exploring the planet in real 'Mars time' with the PI's - likewise, Cassini and the Saturn moons. This has not compromised the science one iota, and in fact, may have helped alert Cassini scientists to the plumes on Enceladus.

Whether paid for in Euros or dollars, scientific data is ultimately for the ages...including this one, if possible.Dealing with non-Earth time has apparently made you somewhat (or appear to look) younger, Jerry!