Venus Express Launch
8 November 2005This is the final entry in the Venus Express Launch Campaign journal series, which ran from July 2005 until the launch in November 2005. The journal covered the main activities during this period: from the shipment of the spacecraft to the launch site in Kazakhstan, through the final integration of the spacecraft with the launcher, to the launch of Venus Express.
The Venus Express spacecraft successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 03:33 UT on 9 November 2005 on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket. One hour twenty minutes after launch the Fregat upper stage fired for a second time to send the spacecraft on a trajectory to intercept Venus in April 2006.
Click here for replay of launch.
Click here for official press release.
9 Nov 06:10 UTC, MET +02h 40m
Sun acquisition and successful deployment of solar arrays confirmed.
9 Nov 05:13 UTC, MET: +01h 40m
Fregat second stage has successfully fired and placed Venus Express into an escape trajectory
9 Nov 03:47 UTC, MET: +00h 14m
Fregat upper stage first firing successful and parking orbit achieved
9 Nov 03:44 UTC, MET: +00h 11m
All separation sequences confirmed
9 Nov 03:38:52 UTC, MET: +00h 05m 18s
Soyuz 2nd stage separation
9 Nov 03:37:48 UTC, MET: +00h 04m 14s
Fairing jettison is confirmed.
9 Nov 03:35:32 UTC, MET: +00h 01m 58s
First stage boosters separation has been confirmed
9 Nov 03:33:42 UTC, MET: +00h 00m 08s
End of vertical ascent
9 Nov 03:33:34 UTC Launch of Venus Express
9 Nov 03:33:14 UTC, MET: -00h 00m 20s
Ignition of booster and core engines at intermediate thrust level
9 Nov 03:32:49 UTC, MET: -00h 00m 45s
Transfer to on-board power supply
9 Nov 03:31:34 UTC, MET: -00h 02m 00s
9 Nov 03:30:59 UTC, MET: -00h 02m 35s
Pressurization of propellant tanks
9 Nov 03:23:00 UTC, MET: -00h 10m 00s
Spacecraft switched to internal power
9 Nov 02:49 UTC, MET: -00h 44m 00s
Removal of service platform
9 Nov 02:03 UTC, MET: -01h 30m 00s
End of launch vehicle fuelling
8 Nov 23:44 UTC, MET: -03h 49m 00s
Start fuelling of launch vehicle (lasts 2h 20m)
8 Nov 19:05 UTC, MET: -08h 28m 00s
Spacecraft pre-launch checks complete and commencement of launch configuration activities.