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Venus Express
elakdawalla
post Apr 30 2010, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (cndwrld @ Apr 30 2010, 04:50 AM) *
...here's a photo of my radar hat...

Marvelous.


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tharrison
post Apr 30 2010, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE (cndwrld @ Apr 30 2010, 03:50 AM) *
I don't have a photo of that. So here's a photo of my radar hat, when I worked on Magellan. Careful observers will note the attention to detail, with the radiometer cone on the left side, and the altimeter antenna on the right ear.


Great attention to detail. smile.gif


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stevesliva
post Apr 30 2010, 03:20 PM
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From the bygone era when engineers wore ties.
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AndyG
post Apr 30 2010, 03:28 PM
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It's a good thing you didn't try it outside in the rain. wink.gif

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cndwrld
post Nov 23 2010, 02:51 PM
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Venus Express (and all the other ESA operating missions) has been extended until 2014. Excellent news for people working on the mission.

More information is in the ESA press release at:

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMR1MIRPGG_index_0.html


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hendric
post Nov 23 2010, 05:29 PM
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You had mentioned earlier upthread about using drag to lower the orbit once approved for an extended mission. Any details yet on that?


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cndwrld
post Nov 24 2010, 08:52 AM
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Regarding the orbit lowering, the current aerodrag campaigns are useful science and a good precursor for it. But the spacecraft wasn't designed for the dynamic pressures of high levels of drag. And using low levels of drag, within everyone's comfort zone, means that the orbit lowering would take a long, long, long time. During which not much science would get done. The drag is at pericenter, which is also where most of the science data is taken. And the attitude for drag lowering wouldn't allow pointing the instruments where needed.

So my current impression is that things are still being discussed, but any serious orbit lowering with drag passes would fit better at the very end of mission. Surprises then don't forfeit a lot of science. So 2014 or later, depending when our fuel and money run out.


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cndwrld
post Oct 10 2011, 11:40 AM
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To put this issue to bed in the forum, Venus Express will not be doing aerobraking before end of mission.

ESA held a full review board to look at the question of performing aerobraking with Venus Express. After a lot of good work, it was decided that it just wasn't worth it. At least, right now.

The original idea was to use aerobraking to drop the orbit from a 24 hour period to an 18 hour period, making use of the regular periods when the pericenter altitude dropped quite low. Instead of raising the pericenter height as is done now, well before hitting atmosphere, could we use the periods of low pericenter height to use atmospheric drag to slow the spacecraft at pericenter, which would drop the apocenter, and reduce the orbit period to a level where the science would be better.

Turns out that the allowed dynamic pressure on the spacecraft would not be enough to get the orbit down to 18 hours, or even close. Therefore, there was no scientific justification for the added expense and added risk.

However, the idea of doing hard aerobraking after the end of the science mission is still very much under consideration. Just as the dying Magellan spacecraft was used many years ago, Venus Express may end its active life by becoming an aerobraking test bed.


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cndwrld
post Jan 10 2012, 11:43 AM
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I am very happy to mention that a special issue of Icarus will be coming out in February that is dedicated to advances in Venus science, primarily due to Venus Express data. This issue is largely based around presentations for meetings in 2010.

The 40 papers that make up the issue can already be viewed on-line. The contents can be browsed at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00191035/217/2


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Paolo
post Jan 10 2012, 08:56 PM
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too bad they are not free to access mad.gif


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cndwrld
post Jan 16 2012, 02:25 PM
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The European Space Agency (ESA) has two sets of web sites; one for the general public, and one that is a little more technical. On the latter, the Science and Technology pages, there is one for Venus Express (VEX). And on that page is a link to a monthly operations report (MOR). Which until recently had been last updated in the middle of 2010.

We're trying to get the status reports up to date, and then hope to keep them current with regular updates. Currently on-line as of today are reports up to September of 2011. We'll try to get them up to date before too much longer.

For anyone interested, the Venus Express page on the ESA Science and Technology pages is at:

http://sci.esa.int/venusexpress

And the most recent Venus Express status report is listed on the SciTech home page:
http://sci.esa.int


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cndwrld
post Mar 9 2012, 02:16 PM
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The Venus Express status reports are available through the end of 2012 at:

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...mp;fareaid_2=63


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Phil Stooke
post Mar 9 2012, 02:36 PM
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... and it just took a bit of a hit from the recent solar storm...

http://www.space.com/14834-solar-storm-bli...spacecraft.html



Phil



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Paolo
post Mar 9 2012, 06:38 PM
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esaoperations tweeted this 3 hours ago

QUOTE
#Venusexpress #startrackers were back functioning as of this AM at 03:25 UT


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cndwrld
post Mar 12 2012, 08:42 AM
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Venus Express is currently in what is called quadrature operations, where the spacecraft is tilted 10 degrees when Earth pointing in order to keep the Sun out of the Venus Monitoring Camera field of view. This puts a lot of thermal constraints on the operations. They expect to get back to normal science operations within a few days, but the quadrature thermal restrictions slow things down a bit. So far, everything looks fine with the trackers, though.


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