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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Latest Venus Express Stories

2006-04-11 07:50:00

By Bernhard Winkler DARMSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - Europe's first space probe to Venus slipped smoothly into the planet's orbit on Tuesday and sent its first signals from there to Earth, ground controllers said. The 1.3 ton Venus Express took off on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan last November, traveling 250 million miles through space to a mission scheduled to last 486 days. "Everything went as it was planned, clearly, without difficulties," Gaele Winters, European Space Agency...

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2006-04-11 06:30:00

This morning, at the end of a 153-day and 400-million km cruise into the inner Solar System beginning with its launch on November 9, 2005, ESA's Venus Express space probe fired its main engine at 09:17 CEST for a 50-minute burn, which brought it into orbit around Venus. With this firing, the probe reduced its relative velocity toward the planet from 29,000 to about 25,000 km/h and was captured by its gravity field. This orbit insertion manoeuvre was a complete success. During the next four...

2006-04-11 05:30:00

DARMSTADT, Germany -- Europe's first space probe to Venus entered the planet's orbit on Tuesday and sent its first transmissions from there to Earth, ground controllers said. Officials at the European Space Agency's Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, said the Venus Express probe had completed a braking operation shortly after 0800 GMT to gain position to be dragged into the planet's orbit. After a brief so-called occultation period when the craft passed behind the planet and out...

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2006-04-10 13:00:00

It was on November 9th last year that ESA's Venus Express spacecraft lifted off from the desert of Kazakhstan onboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket. Now, after having travelled 400 million kilometres in only about five months, the spacecraft is about to reach its final destination. The rendezvous is due to take place on April 11th. First step: catching Venus To begin to explore our Earth s hot and hazy sister planet, Venus Express must complete a critical first step, the most challenging one...

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2006-04-03 17:10:00

If a large asteroid such as the recently identified 2004 VD17 -- about 500 miles in diameter with a mass of nearly 1000 million tons -- collides with the Earth it could spell disaster for much of our planet. As part of ESA's Near-Earth Object deflecting mission Don Quijote, three teams of European industries are now carrying out studies on how to prevent this. ESA has been addressing the problem of how to prevent large Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) from colliding with the Earth for some...

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2006-03-27 16:38:48

Europe -- Venus Express mission controllers at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) are in intensive preparation for an 11 April arrival at the spacecraft's namesake destination. The critical manoeuvre will involve a deft combination of basic physics, expert spacecraft engineering and precise timing. Next month's Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) will mark the arrival of the first ESA mission at Venus, one of the Solar System's most enigmatic planets. Orbit insertion comprises a series of...

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2005-11-28 17:30:26

ESA -- A recent check of the VIRTIS imaging spectrometer during the Venus Express commissioning phase has allowed its first remote-sensing data to be acquired, using Earth and the Moon as a reference. After a successful in-flight checkout of the spacecraft's systems in the first ten days of flight, the ESOC operations team is now verifying the health and functioning of all the Venus Express instruments. These observations were made as part of this checkout. Of course the very large...

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2005-11-09 06:05:00

ESA -- The European spacecraft Venus Express has been successfully placed into a trajectory that will take it on its journey from Earth towards its destination of the planet Venus, which it will reach next April.A virtual twin sister of the Mars Express spacecraft which has been orbiting the Red Planet since December 2003, Venus Express is the second planet-bound probe to be launched by the European Space Agency. Venus Express will eventually manoeuvre itself into orbit around Venus in order...

2005-11-09 05:26:58

By Bernhard Winkler DARMSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - Europe's first space probe to Venus was launched on Wednesday on a mission that aims to shed light on Earth's closest planetary neighbor and give scientists clues about global warming. From its Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, the European Space Agency said the 1.3 ton "Venus Express" probe had taken off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on board a Soyuz rocket at 0333 GMT on Wednesday -- after a two-week delay. The Venus Express will...

2005-11-09 03:50:00

DARMSTADT, Germany (Reuters) - Europe's first space probe to Venus was launched on Wednesday, on a mission that aims to shed new light on Earth's closest planetary neighbor. From its Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, the European Space Agency said the 1.3 ton "Venus Express" probe had taken off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on board a Soyuz rocket at 0333 GMT on Wednesday, two weeks after its scheduled launch. The Venus Express will travel through space for around 163 days and once captured...