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No. 26 - Approaching Operational Orbit

No. 26 - Approaching Operational Orbit

Report for period 28 April to 04 May 2006 With two orbit control manoeuvres (ALM#4 and ALM#5) executed in the reporting period theapocentere lowering phase of the orbit insertion has been successfully completed. ThePericentre Control Manoeuvre #2, to be executed in the next reporting period, will conclude theorbit insertion phase.

Commissioning of the single instruments is proceeding according to the plan and no significant problem has been recorded. All planned activities have been conducted successfully.

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

MET (Day) Date DOY Main Activity
171 28/04/06 118 VMC Pericentre Pass
172 29/04/06 119 Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #4 (8.04 ms-1)
173 30/04/06 120 VeRA Commissioning #1
174 01/05/06 121 SPICAV Obs #2 (Rotating Limb)
175 02/05/06 122 Apocentre Lowering Manoeuvre #5 (1.95 ms-1)
176 03/05/06 123 SPICAV Obs #1 (Stars Pointing)
177 04/05/06 124 SC Monitoring and TM Bit rate test

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 124, 14:00) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 148 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 494 seconds.

Spacecraft Status

AOCS

Manoeuvre

Estimated ΔV
(ms-1)

Estimated Duration
(seconds)

ALM #4

8.0349

603

ALM #5

1.951828

233

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument is currently OFF.

MAG
The instrument is ON in Solar Wind mode and science data are regularly downlinked.

PFS
The instrument is currently OFF.

SPICAV
The instrument has been activated for dedicated observations (SPICAV Obs#2 on DoY121 and Obs#1 on DoY123) and nominal behaviour has been observed. Science data are being analysed by the PI team.

VeRA
A dedicated New Norcia pass has been taken on DoY 120 to conduct the first of the fours commissioning activities.

VIRTIS
The instrument is currently OFF.

VMC
The instrument has been successfully operated on PI’s request during the pericenter pass of DoY 118 in order to test the proper sequence for images with 30 seconds exposure (SC AR 35).

Ground Facilities

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

Future Milestones

The orbit insertion phase will be concluded with the Pericenter Control Manoeuvre #2 to be executed at the apocenter of orbit 16 on the 6th of May. As from that point Venus Express will have reached its operational orbit around the planet. This orbit will be then maintained with orbit control manoeuvres that are estimated to take place with a frequency of about 50 days.

The Venus Orbit Commissioning Phase proceeds with the activities required to complete the commissioning of SPICAV (4 more dedicated observations) and the 3 additional calibrations required for VeRA.

The first operational products from the Science Operations Center are being received and will be used to prepare the commands for the activities between orbit #23 and #29 included. These weekly planning deliveries will now govern the mission planning scheme of Venus Express in the rest of the commissioning phase and throughout the routine phase.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
9-Mar-2021 11:32 UT

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