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Venus Express Ground Segment Overview

The concept for control of the Venus Express mission is based on the use of a single control centre, the Venus Express Mission Operations Centre (VMOC) at ESOC, Germany, in conjunction with the ESA deep space ground station located in Cebreros (near Madrid, Spain). In normal operations, data are transmitted to Earth during a single eight-hour pass each day.

Venus Express Mission Operations Centre

Artist's view of the Venus Express Spacecraft orbiting Venus

Throughout all mission phases, the VMOC is the primary interface with the spacecraft through the ground stations. It is responsible for monitoring and control of the complete mission. During critical mission phases (which included launch and the Venus orbit injection) it receives tracking, telemetry and command support from the ESA ground station located in New Norcia, which is also used for data takings in support of the Radio Science investigations.

For the complete mission duration (from launch to the end of mission, when ground contact to the spacecraft/payload is terminated), ESOC provides facilities and services to the scientific community for planning and execution of scientific data acquisition. This includes generating and providing complete raw-data sets and necessary auxiliary data to the Principal Investigators (PIs).


Last Update: 06 June 2010

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