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Latest Venus Express Stories

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2007-06-04 17:25:00

On June 6 this year, scientists all around the world will be watching with eager eyes as not one but two spacecraft observe Venus simultaneously. ESA's Venus Express, in orbit around Venus since 11 April 2006, will be joined for a few hours by NASA's MESSENGER (MErcury Surface Space ENvironment GEochemistry and Ranging mission), flying by Venus while on its way to Mercury. Earth-based observatories and telescopes in orbit around Earth will also be watching. Looking at Venus together,...

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2007-05-07 09:25:00

An exciting new series of videos from ESA's Venus Express has been capturing atmospheric details of day and night areas simultaneously, at different altitudes. The south pole of the planet and its gigantic double vortex has been pictured as never before. The south pole of Venus and the double-eyed storm permanently rule atmospheric phenomena in that area of the planet. They are key to understanding the global atmospheric dynamics on Venus and will contribute to a better comprehension of the...

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2007-04-11 11:10:56

Flight Control Teams for Mars Express and Venus Express now work side-by-side for key aspects of their routine activities. The close cooperation supports team spirit, cross-training and improved efficiency. Thanks to a common spacecraft architecture and use of standardised mission control software, spacecraft controllers from the Mars Express and Venus Express Flight Control Teams (FCTs) are now able to work in tandem, each providing support to both missions and boosting team cooperation....

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2007-04-11 07:55:00

One year has passed since April 11, 2006, when Venus Express, Europe's first mission to Venus and the only spacecraft now in orbit around the planet, reached its destination. Since then, this advanced probe, born to explore one of the most mysterious planetary bodies in the Solar System, has been revealing planetary details never caught before. Intensively visited by several Russian and American probes from the 60s to the early 90s, Venus has always represented a puzzling target for...

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2007-04-03 10:30:07

New images and data from ESA's mission to Venus provide new insights into the turbulent and noxious atmosphere of Earth's sister planet. What causes violent winds and turbulences? Is the surface topography playing a role in the complex global dynamics of the atmosphere? Venus Express is on the case. Venus' atmosphere represents a true puzzle for scientists. Winds are so powerful and fast that they circumnavigate the planet in only four Earth days "“ the atmospheric...

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2007-02-27 09:40:57

ESA's Mars Express and Venus Express missions, to explore our nearest neighbour planets Mars and Venus respectively, will continue to operate until early-May 2009. The decision was unanimously taken by ESA's Science Programme Committee last Friday. The Science Programme Committee recognised the outstanding legacy that Mars Express and Venus Express are building for future generations of scientists, and noted the invaluable heritage that these missions are leaving to future missions to these...

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2007-02-27 08:50:20

BepiColombo, ESA's mission to explore planet Mercury, has been definitively 'adopted' by the Agency's Science Programme Committee (SPC) last Friday. The mission will now start its industrial implementation phase, to prepare for launch in August 2013. BepiColombo is the next European planetary exploration project, and will be implemented in collaboration with Japan. A satellite 'duo' "“ consisting of an orbiter for planetary investigation and one for magnetospheric studies "“ will...

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2007-02-15 15:10:00

ESA mission controllers have confirmed Rosetta is on track for a critical 250-km (150 miles) Mars swingby on 25 February. Engineers have started final preparations for the delicate operation, which includes an eclipse, a signal blackout, precise navigation and complex ground tracking. Rosetta is scheduled to make its closest approach to Mars at 02:57 CET on Sunday, 25 February, using the Red Planet as a gravitational brake to reduce speed and alter trajectory as part of the spacecraft's...

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2007-01-31 14:02:47

A unique way to travel to the Moon, new technologies successfully tested and brand-new science: a few months after the end of the SMART-1 mission scientists and engineers gathered to recap on these and all the other achievements of the first European mission to the Moon. The innovative SMART-1 Moon mission has taught ESA, European space industry and institutes a lot about how to perform its missions even more efficiently. For example, the operational tools developed and the lessons learned...

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2006-11-09 13:30:00

One year after its launch on November 9, 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. It was 11 April 2006 when, after a delicate manoeuvre, Venus Express entered into orbit around Venus, and started a series of gradually smaller loops around the planet to reach its...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'