Venus Express aerobraking Credit: ESA

Venus Express aerobraking: quick update 18 July

Today's update on the orbit raising manoeuvres of Venus Express, following the aerobraking campaign, is provided by acting spacecraft operations manager Joerg Fischer: Everything appears nominal so far. We have completed eight orbit correct manoeuvres (OCMs), each raising the...

Venus Express aerobraking Credit: ESA

Venus Express rises again

  After a month surfing in and out of the atmosphere of Venus down to below 130 km from the planet’s surface, Venus Express has embarked on a 15 day climb up to the lofty heights of 460 km. Over...

VEX10July1

The hottest, bumpiest week yet for Venus Express

Venus Express is now in the final week of its aerobraking campaign, and the spacecraft is about as low as it’s going to get. At last pericentre passage, its altitude was only 129.9 km - and this...

VEX pericentre evolution aerobraking 3 July 2014. Credit: ESA

Venus Express goes even lower

Update contributed by the VEX team – Ed. Here's the latest plot showing the lowest altitudes reached by Venus Express on each of its aerobraking orbits. Yesterday morning, 2 July, the spacecraft performed another manoeuvre designed to lower...

Colin Wilson

Hotter and hotter

In the past ten days, we saw the acceleration felt by the spacecraft as it dips into the atmosphere. However, it’s not these accelerations which threaten the spacecraft – instead, it’s the heating of the spacecraft which...

VEX pericentre height evolution

Aerobraking update

Venus Express completed the 38th aerobraking orbit on 25 June with pericentre passage expected to have occurred at 21:37:04z; the spacecraft was in braking mode between 19:59:05z and 21:54:05z. The predicted pericentre height was 132.7 km (the...

Evolution of pericentre passage as of 23 June. Credit: ESA

Venus Express enters an unknown realm

Operations team lowers altitude of pericentre passage Today's blog post was contributed by Colin Wilson at the Dept. of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Oxford University, with inputs from the operations team at ESOC. Colin is Venus...

This chart shows the planned evolution of the Venus Express pericentre (point of closest approach to surface) altitude during the aerobraking campaign. Units: km. Credit: ESA

Aerobraking starts today – Update 17:00CEST

UPDATE 17:00CEST Adam writes: Since the atmosphere is not as dense as was feared, we are planning a small manoeuvre next week to further lower the pericentre altitude by between 2 and 3 km. This combined with...

Venus Express ASPERA-4. Credit: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (Institutet för rymdfysik, IRF)

Science during aerobraking

Today’s post highlights the continuation of science data gathering during the demanding aerobraking campaign, which formally gets underway today.

Venus Express aerobraking Credit: ESA

Venus Express aerobraking: quick update

A short update from the VEX flight team at ESOC today on progress of the aerobraking campaign. The quick news: it's going very well! The 25th aerobraking orbit (Number 2975 in the mission overall) was completed earlier...