content 18-November-2017 16:49:57

Venus Orbit Insertion

The Venus Express Orbit Insertion (VOI) manoeuvre took place on 11 April 2006. To enable capture of the spacecraft, it was first slewed such that the main engine was aligned to the direction of travel.

The table below shows the timetable of events throughout the capture burn.

Event Spacecraft Time
(UTC)
Ground Receive
Time (UTC)
VOI LSP start 07:07:59 07:14:44
VOI main engine start 07:10:29 07:17:14
Pericentre passage 07:36:37
Eclipse start 07:37:45
Occultation start 07:38:27 07:45:12
Occultation end 07:48:33 07:55:18
Eclipse end 07:55:13
VOI burn end 08:00:42 08:07:28

The main engine burn lasted around 50 minutes and decelerated the spacecraft by approximately 1251 ms-1 (~ 4500 kmh-1).

The spacecraft intially entered a highly elliptical polar orbit with a pericentre of 400 km, an apocentre of 350 000 km and a period of 9 days.

To achieve the final operational orbit a series of necessary correction manoeuvres was performed:

Date Activity Velocity
Change (m/s)
15 April 2006 Pericentre Control Manoeuvre #1 5.8
20 April 2006 Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #1 199.9
23 April 2006 Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #2 105.3
26 April 2006 Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #3 9.2
29 April 2006 Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #4 8.0
2 May 2006 Apocentre Trim 2.0
6 May 2006 Pericentre Control Manoeuvre #2 3.1


Last Update: 24 May 2007

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