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No. 25 - Ongoing Venus Orbit Commissioning

No. 25 - Ongoing Venus Orbit Commissioning

Report for period 21 April to 27 April 2006In the reporting period two apocentre lowering manoeuvres have been executed as part of the orbit insertion phase, which is proceeding as scheduled. These manoeuvres have been interleaved with payload commissioning activities involving most of the instruments.

All planned activities have been conducted. A re-test of the PFS scanner movement has been executed without success. All planned observations have been executed according to schedule and without problems.

Performance of the space and the ground segments has been nominal throughout the reporting period.

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities in the reporting period:

MET (Day) Date DOY Main Activity
164 21/04/06 111 SC Monitoring
165 22/04/06 112 MAG Commissioning and VMC Observation #1 (Straylight)
166 23/04/06 113 SPICAV Commissioning #1 and Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #2 (105 ms-1)
167 24/04/06 114 SPICAV Commissioning #2 and VMC observation #2 (Pericentre)
168 25/04/06 115 SPICAV Commissioning #3 and VIRTIS observation #1
169 26/04/06 116 SPICAV Commissioning #4 and Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #3 (9 ms-1)
170 27/04/06 117 PFS re-test and VIRTIS observation #2

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 117, 14:00) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 140 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 467 seconds.

Spacecraft Status

AOCS

Manoeuvre

Date

Estimated ΔV
(ms-1)

ALM #2 23/04/06

105.30018

ALM #3 26/04/06

9.16653

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument is currently OFF.

MAG
The instrument has been commissioned on DoY 112. After successful validation the instrument has been left ON in Solar Wind mode.

PFS
A new attempt to move the scanner has been done on DoY 117 without success.

SPICAV
The instrument has been successfully commissioned during the four slots on DoY 113, 114, 115, and 116. Science data are being analysed by the PI team. The commissioning will continue in the next reporting periods with 6 dedicated observations.

VeRA
The USO is kept powered but muted.

VIRTIS
The instrument has been successfully operated during two dedicated observations on DoY 115 and 117. Science data are being analysed by the PI team.

VMC
The instrument has been successfully operated during two dedicated observations on DoY 112 (Straylight test) and 114 (Pericentre observation). A third observation has been scheduled during the pericentre pass of DoY 118 in order to test the proper sequence for images with 30 seconds exposure.

Ground Facilities

During the reporting period Venus Express has been successfully supported by daily passes with Cebreros.

Future Milestones

The orbit insertion phase will continue with two additional apocentre lowering manoeuvres (ALM#4: 8 ms-1, ALM#5: 2 ms-1) and a pericentre control manoeuvre (3 ms-1) to reach the operational orbit on 7 May.

The Venus Orbit Commissioning Phase proceeds now with additional activities required to complete the commissioning of SPICAV (6 dedicated observations have been scheduled) and the calibrations required for VeRA.

The first operational products from the Science Operations Center are due for the next reporting period and will be used to prepare the commands for the activities starting on 14 May.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
9-Mar-2021 11:26 UT

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