No. 25 - Ongoing Venus Orbit Commissioning
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|
|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.
The instrument is currently OFF.
The instrument has been commissioned on DoY 112. After successful validation the instrument has been left ON in Solar Wind mode.
A new attempt to move the scanner has been done on DoY 117 without success.
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.
The USO is kept powered but muted.
The instrument has been successfully operated during two dedicated observations on DoY 115 and 117. Science data are being analysed by the PI team.
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.
During the reporting period Venus Express has been successfully supported by daily passes with Cebreros.
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.