content 22-November-2017 15:48:06

Cruise Phase

After launch and separation from the last of the four launcher stages, Venus Express spent 153 days in an interplanetary transfer orbit.

After the spacecraft acquired Sun pointing and deployed its solar arrays some 2 hours after launch, spacecraft commissioning started, followed by payload health checks.  No routine science operations were planned during the cruise phase.

Interplanetary transfer orbit

During the cruise to Venus, the spacecraft was contacted daily for health checks and navigation using the High Gain Antenna. The spacecraft was put on an arrival trajectory to Venus with mid-course navigation and a final course adjustment was performed on 29 March to fine tune the arrival hyperbola for Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI).

The planning of the interplanetary transfer took into account the forces acting on the spacecraft due to the gravitational fields of the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter and the effects of solar radiation pressure.



13 December 2005

End of NECP

11 April 2006 - 07:10:29 UT

Start of VOI main engine burn

7 May 2006

Final operational orbit around Venus

Last Update: 11 April 2006

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