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SPICAV: PRODEX participation to Venus Express

SPICAV: PRODEX participation to Venus Express

6 September 2005

On 9 November 2005, Venus Express the first European mission to Venus, Earth's nearest planetary neighbour, was launched on a Russian Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

After a trip of 153 days, Venus Express will reach the Venusian orbit and will start studying the atmosphere, plasma environment, and the surface of Venus in great detail. The mapping mission is due to last for 2 Venusian days, about 500 Earth days.

There will be 7 instruments on board Venus Express, and PRODEX contribution in Belgium is SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus), instrument developed by the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy.

Integration of SPICAV - photo courtesy of BISA

SPICAV is an imaging spectrometer for ultraviolet and infrared radiation derived from the SPICAM instrument flown on Mars Express, which was equipped with two channels, one for ultraviolet wavelengths and one for infrared. SPICAV retains these channels, SPICAV-UV (SUV) for ultraviolet and SPICAV-IR for infrared and adds an additional channel (SOIR, Solar Occultation at Infrared), to observe the Sun through Venus's atmosphere at longer infrared wavelengths.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
9-Dec-2021 14:11 UT

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