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No. 28 - Early Routine Science Operations

No. 28 - Early Routine Science Operations

Report for period 14 May to 20 May 2006The reporting period is the first period during which all operations have been executed according to the planning inputs received from the Science Operations Center. All observations have been executed as scheduled without any problem.

The planning cycle is now in its full operational configuration and all the tools foreseen for the routine mission are in place. On 13 May 2006, at 13:33 UTC Venus Express had its 23rd apocenter passage and the first science operations planned as part of the routine processes and with the routine tools have started. The process foresees a monthly planning cycle (Medium Term Planning) when resources are checked and then frozen, and a weekly planning cycle (Short Term Planning) when resources are finally checked and commands for the spacecraft produced for uplink. This mechanism will be used throughout the mission.

The performance of the space and the ground segment during the reporting period has been nominal with some small problems recorded in the area of the Mission Control System. None of the observed problems, however, has affected the mission operations.

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

MET (Day) Date DOY Main Activity
187 14/05/06 134 Routine Science operations
188 15/05/06 135 Routine Science operations
189 16/05/06 136 Routine Science operations,  Uplink of STP002/2 commands
190 17/05/06 137 Routine Science operations
191 18/05/06 138 Routine Science operations
192 19/05/06 139 Routine Science operations, Uplink of STP003/1 commands, STR B OBSM
193 20/05/06 140 Routine Science operations

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 140, 14:00) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 165 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 553 seconds.

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument is regularly operated. Some out of limits and warning events have been recorded and confirmed to be expected by the PI team. The database and the procedures will be updated accordingly. Upon request from the PI team some observations have been modified in order to avoid saturation of the sensor. A test of a specific acquisition sequence is scheduled for the next reporting period.

MAG
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

PFS
The instrument is currently OFF and is not included in the routine planning.

SPICAV
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

VeRA
No operations have been executed in the reporting period..

VIRTIS
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

VMC
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan. Sun avoidance is routinely checked manually.

Ground Facilities

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

Future Milestones

The phasing-in of the routine planning process is proceeding according to the plan and no anomalies have been recorded. All the systems are already in the configuration that will be used for the routine mission which will officially start on 4 June with Medium Term Plan 002.

The first routine radio science operations will take place in the next reporting period with activities scheduled with New Norcia and DSN stations.

The next milestone for the mission is the preparation of the Mission Commissioning Results Review to be held end of June.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-Sep-2021 07:59 UT

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