Have you ever read a live space weather report, just minutes after it was issued to support an operational spacecraft orbiting another planet? Neither have we! Here is today’s VEX space weather (SWE) report issued earlier this afternoon in support of tomorrow morning’s first orbit conducted by Venus Express in aerobraking mode.

Venus Express SWE report 190514. Courtesy: ESA/SSA/SSCC Helpdesk

Venus Express SWE report 190514. Courtesy: ESA/SSA/SSCC Helpdesk

In the interests of speed, we’re posting this ‘as is’ with not much explanation; we’ll work on a detailed update to explain what this is showing you and there is a full web article coming in the ESA website.

Alexi Glover, working with the space weather team at ESA’s SSA Programme, asked me to mention that, since they’re still officially in the pre-operational services phase, this report is genuinely a prototype. “We’re prototyping a new service that builds on the regular information provided for space weather users ‘closer to home’ [i.e. at Earth].”

But even a prototype will be rather useful for the VEX mission team at ESOC!

Today’s report was issued by the team at ESA’s SSA Space Weather Coordination Centre (SSCC), located at the Space Pole in Belgium. The SSCC is operated on behalf of ESA by a consortium consisting of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, the Royal Observatory of Belgium and two industrial partners, Space Applications Services SA/NV and Spacebel SA/NV.

Here’s the report!

== Space Weather bulletin for Venus Express aerobraking operations ==

Bulletin #1
prepared by SSCC and SIDC forecaster
on May 19, 2014 at 14:10 UTC.

Valid until May 21, 2014 at 14:10 UTC.

=== Past 24 hours (Earth viewpoint) ===
Solar flare activity: no C, M or X flares
10-MEV proton flux:   < 0.2 pfu
F10.7 index:          128 sfu at Earth

=== Next 48 hours (Earth viewpoint) ===
All quiet:       no
Solar flares:    quiet (less than 50 % chance of a C flare)
Solar protons:   quiet

=== Comment ===
There were no C flares nor CMEs during the past 24 hours. In the next 48 hours, 
quiet conditions (without C flares) are likely. There is a slight chance for C flares
from NOAA active regions 2056 and 2066.

== Attachment ==
Top:    past solar disk image matching Venus current viewpoint annotated with current active regions
Bottom: time variation of Earth observed background irradiation [black] and uncorrected F10.7 index [blue]
with indication of current Venus shift

NOAA active regions of interest:
2056: (small) potential for C flares
2066: (small) potential for C flares

== Data & tools ==
For full data and analysis tools, please visit https://swe.ssa.esa.int/
Solar weather: https://swe.ssa.esa.int/web/guest/solar-weather
Space radiation: https://swe.ssa.esa.int/web/guest/space-radiation

We hope this response has sufficiently answered your questions. If not, please reply to this email.

SSCC Helpdesk