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Venus Express
cndwrld
post Mar 13 2007, 11:11 AM
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Let me give a brief update about what I know regarding the publication of VEX science images and information, based on what I've heard over the last few days.

A major issue of Nature has been in planning for some time. It seems like it may come out in May, which would be nice since it would coincide with the one year anniversary of when VEX began routine science operations. Since most efforts now are focused on that paper, any other publications are unlikely until that issue comes out.

Getting more PR images out is getting pushed internally. I can't say that comments on this site have been taken into account, necessarily, but they are one factor that has been brought up in discussions. What I'm hearing now is that another PR person has been brought in at ESTEC to help Monica Televaes, and they are hoping to do the following:

- upcoming web stories in the end of March, 11 April and end of April.

- More information on the Ground based observations campaign will be coming up. There is a process in place to coordinate ground coverage of Venus during VEX observations, with the amatuer community.

-Try to do one web story per month, with one team each month.

-Try to put out more images in general.

It is possible they may fall short of this, but they are at least going to try it.

Cheers-

Don Merritt


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djellison
post Mar 13 2007, 11:42 AM
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They are rapidly approaching the first scheduled PSA release of VEX data - but we've seen it all before with Smart 1 so I'm not holding my breath.

Doug
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ustrax
post Mar 13 2007, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (cndwrld @ Mar 13 2007, 11:11 AM) *
What I'm hearing now is that another PR person has been brought in at ESTEC to help Monica Televaes...


That's Monica Talevi...
Dear Dan Mirrit...you've got a serious problem with names... wink.gif


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JRehling
post Mar 13 2007, 03:30 PM
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Don, I could not appreciate your reports more. Thanks so much.

QUOTE (cndwrld @ Mar 13 2007, 04:11 AM) *
- More information on the Ground based observations campaign will be coming up. There is a process in place to coordinate ground coverage of Venus during VEX observations, with the amatuer community.


That's nice to read. Now that amateurs are combining interesting filters with other advanced techniques, some images of science quality seem to be appearing.

Cheers...
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dvandorn
post Mar 13 2007, 04:12 PM
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And we'll likely see that amateur data before we ever see any VEX results... *sigh*...

Unless the VEX Science Operations Team is putting all this together to try and keep the *amateur* data secret, too??? blink.gif (OK, I'm not really serious about that. I don't think...)

-the other Doug


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lyford
post Mar 13 2007, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Mar 13 2007, 08:12 AM) *
And we'll likely see that amateur data before we ever see any VEX results... *sigh*...

Well, the mission isn't named VEX for nothing..... *ducks* rolleyes.gif


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Mongo
post Mar 13 2007, 10:51 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Mar 13 2007, 04:12 PM) *
And we'll likely see that amateur data before we ever see any VEX results... *sigh*...

I am kinda hoping that amateurs end up 'scooping' the VEX people by publishing their results (if any) first. After all, the general rule is that he who publishes first gets most of the credit. The VEX people would have only themselves to blame, if their data (non)release policies end up costing them priority.

Bill
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helvick
post Mar 14 2007, 08:56 AM
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The problem is that the amateurs almost certainly will only have acess to their own data so these coordinated ground based observations are unlikely to reveal much that is new without the corresponding VEX data.

However this is a really interesting effort and I'm very happy to see that ESA is also doing this - it seems to be similar to the collaboration with the amateur Jupiter observing community that NH benefited from during it's recent flyby.

And I'd like to thank Don for his updates - they very much appreciated.
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cndwrld
post Mar 14 2007, 12:33 PM
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For those of you interested in the Venus data that amatuers are submitting to ESA,
the Venus Amateur Observing Project page is at:


http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...bodylongid=1856

You can click on "Results and Observations" in the right sidebar if you'd like to see some of the results so far.

Cheers-

Don Merritt


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cndwrld
post Mar 26 2007, 07:38 AM
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VEX Mission Ops Reporting, 11 - 17 March

At the end of the last CEB pass in the reporting period (DOY 076, 18:00z) Venus Express was
orbiting Venus at 195 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 652 sec.

The Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS), power, thermal, mechanisms and fuel system continue to operate extremely well. Continued kudos to Astrium, and the flight control team at ESOC.

We did not receive a small amount of science data last week, because high winds at the Cebreros ground station required the antenna to be safed. That data was stored on board, and has now been downlinked. The data is transferred from Cebreros to a server at ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany. Our science teams pull their data off of that, knowing that the data is not final for at least a week or two after the actual downlink, just for such occurences. This recent data delay will not cause any problems. The Cebreros station is new, the schedule being driven primarily by VEX support requirements; it still has that new ground station smell. There are occasional problems with equipment or procedures, but just the usual small stuff one would expect.

VIRTIS movie passes are scheduled for the second week of April (DOY 98-101). This includes five orbits, where the mission constraints allow us to take extended mosaic images of the south pole from apocenter. Planning of science operations during this event is now finished. A proficiency pass is scheduled on DOY 078
with DSS-63 (Madrid 70-m DSN antenna) to test system readiness for this activity. Being able to use the DSN 70-meter antenna means that it greatlly increases our data rate. Using the DSN station in Madrid, located in the 'same' spot as the Cebreros antenna, means that we do not need to make any changes in our usual orbit timing; we'll be downlinking at the same time as we would have if we had used the Cebreros station. We have made regular but limited use of the DSN stations; in the past, it was only for radio science observations. NASA has been very helpful in this regard; ESA isn't charged for the time, but on the other hand we get whatever time is left over. We put in requests; if no one else needs that antenna at that time, they give it to us. We are always in a position to get bumped, but it hasn't happened yet. So it is great that we get the time, as ESA doesn't yet have any 70-meter dishes.

The science planning for the 14th month of operations (MTP014) has been completed, and final checks are to be done shortly at ESOC in Darmstadt. The science planning for MTP015 has also been completed. Spacecraft pointing requests have been approved by Flight Dynamics, and the flight control team received the instrument commanding files last Thursday for their final checks. I sure hope they work. This set covers the second half of our quadrature period, and the special and special Messenger Fly-By support observations.

We've been so busy, time has flown by. But 11 April 2006 was the day we got to Venus, so our first anniversary of Venus operations is almost here.

Cheers-

Don


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cndwrld
post Apr 11 2007, 09:25 AM
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Venus Express: One Year In Orbit

On 11 April 2006, VEX went into orbit around Venus. The ESA Science web page contains an article about it, which focuses on the oxygen airglow which is being investigated. The page is at:

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM26GLJC0F_index_0.html


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ugordan
post Apr 11 2007, 09:33 AM
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Nice, finally some new images and a cool movie!


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JRehling
post Apr 11 2007, 04:11 PM
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It seems like this glow would be invisible to the eye. My mind leaps for an explanation for the ashen light, but it will probably end up being an optical illusion, not a real phenomenon.
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ngunn
post Apr 11 2007, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Apr 11 2007, 05:11 PM) *
It seems like this glow would be invisible to the eye.


I'm not so sure. It's not clear from the press release whether this glow is monchromatic at 1.27 microns. It could just mean that it is being detected with that particular filter. Anyhow there could be more than one fluorescence-producing process, involving different molecules, operating either together or at different times and places in the atmosphere. The eye has the advantage over the camera when it comes to seeing over a very wide dynamic range of brightness, so I wouldn't discount the ashen light yet. What a wonderful atmosphere this is!
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cndwrld
post Apr 19 2007, 02:44 PM
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VEX Mission Status

As of 14 April, Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 169 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 564 sec.

From 08 April through 12 April, a series of special mosaic images of the south pole were taken with higher than normal resolution. The amount of data would exceed the capability of the nominal ESA ground station at Cebreros, Spain. The data was instead downlinked via the DSN 70-meter Madrid station, under a cross-support agreement between ESA and NASA. This South Pole 'movie' should show excellent coverage and detail of the south polar vortex.

was interesting to note that the brand-new Cebreros 35-meter antenna was 'shadowing' the DSN 70-meter, with no margin built in, and had as good a data rate capture as the much bigger DSN antenna. Which seems to indicate that the DSN 70-meter dish needs a little maintenance.

Some data was lost on DOY 101 due to bad weather in Spain. The data was recovered due to the shadowing with the Cebreros antenna. And all of us in Holland were glad to hear about bad weather in Spain.

Quadrature period begins in May. During this period, the spacecraft will switch to our smaller high-gain antenna, sharply reducing our data rate. The VEX bus is designed so that only two of the eight faces can be exposed indefinitely to the Sun. In the quadrature phase, we would get Sun exposure on the prohibited faces during Earth communications, which lasts at least eight hours per day. The spacecraft is then flipped, and Earth communications is done via the smaller high-gain antenna to keep the Sun exposure only on the allowed faces. The spacecraft is designed for this situation, but this is the first time in the mission we have been in this quadrature situation, so a lot of details on the ground have needed to be worked out and verified. The Flight Control Team at ESOC, in Darmstadt Germany, have been working on it for a while now, and final testing of the changes are underway now. The science planning for this period was wrapped up some time ago.

All spacecraft systems continue to operate nominally, with the occasionaly hiccup just to make sure that people are paying attention.


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