An update from Adam Williams, Venus Express operations manager at ESOC on the current ‘step-in’ prep phase for aerobraking – Ed.
Venus Express has already encountered higher atmospheric density during the start of the walk-in (on 20 May – Ed. ) than previously observed. Although the density values were small, they were more than any measurements made during several high-altitude drag experiments performed with the spacecraft during the past three years. This led last weekend to an orbit raising manoeuvre, to ensure proper descent of the spacecraft deeper into the atmosphere.