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No. 5 - Instrument First Light

No. 5 - Instrument First Light

Report for period 18 November to 24 November 2005During the reporting period all the activities for the Near Earth Commissioning of theinstruments have been conducted according to plan. The MAG, VMC and VIRTIS instruments have all been activated for the first time.

Instrument Activities

VIRTIS and VMC
In the night between 22 and 23 November the spacecraft slewed to perform an observation of the Earth-Moon system from a distance of 3.5 million km with VIRTIS and VMC. The VIRTIS instrument made observations in both the M and H channels and VMC in 4 channels.

Thermal image of Earth in VIRTIS M channel (ESA/VIRTIS Team)

Earth-Moon system in visible light from the VMC (ESA/VMC Team)

MAG
Initial commissioning of the MAG instrument has been conducted including the deployment of the boom. Science data has confirmed nominal deployment. After the initial two days of commissioning, MAG has been left switched on to collect science data. Switch off will take place at the end of the NECP in mid-December.

Spacecraft Activities

The spacecraft and ground behaviour has been nominal throughout the reporting period.

MET (Day)

Date

DOY

Main Activity

10

18/11/05

322

MAG NEC Pass 1 and Boom Deployment

11

19/11/05

323

MAG NEC Pss 2

12

20/11/05

324

VIRTIS NEC Pass 1

13

21/11/05

325

VMS NEC Pass 1 and 2

14

22/11/05

326

VIRTIS NEC Pass 2 and Earth Moon Observation

15

23/11/05

327

VMC NEC Pass 3

16

24/11/05

328

VIRTIS Delta testing

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 328 2000) Venus Express was at 4 mllion km from Earth, 146 million km from the Sun, and 72.5 million km from Venus. The one-way signal travel time was 13 seconds.

Upcoming Activities

Payload Commissioning will continue with the commissioning of SPICAV and then with a 7-days pointing scenario when MAG, VIRTIS, VMC, and SPICAV will be operated simultaneously to observe selected targets for calibration purposes.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
10-Jul-2020 11:11 UT

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