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No. 30 - Commissioning Phase Completed

No. 30 - Commissioning Phase Completed

Report for Period 28 May to 03 June 2006On 3 June at 13:42 UT, after 207 days of flight, 43 orbits around Venus and many test activities, Venus Express has formally completed its commissioning phase and has entered the routine science phase. This will be formalised only with the Mission Commissioning Results Review to be held end of June. The nominal mission is scheduled to last till the end of October 2007.

All activities of the third and last week of the Venus Orbit Commissioning Phase have been executed as planned without any major problem.

The performance of the space and the ground segment has been nominal with minor problems not affecting the mission operations.

The planning cycle proceeds in its activities and according to the plan. Problems identified in the mission planning are being resolved.

The AOCS has been reconfigured to use Star Tracker A in the control loop thus concluding the activities linked to the software update.

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

MET (Day) Date DOY VPER# Main Activity
201 28/05/06 148 37 Routine science operations
202 29/05/06 149 38 Routine science operations
203 30/05/06 150 39 Routine science operations, Star tracker swap
204 31/05/06 151 40 Routine science operations
205 01/06/06 152 41 Routine science operations
206 02/06/06 153 42 Routine science operations
207 03/06/06 154 43 Routine science operations

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 154, 14:00) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 180 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 601 seconds.

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument is regularly operated.

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. Any further attempt to move the scanner is now suspended until further notice.

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

VeRA
The USO has been un-muted in the night between DoY 147 and 148 to perform the first gravity observation. All configuration activities went according to the plan.

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.

Future Milestones

The phasing-in of the routine planning process is formally completed even though it is being affected by some teething problems. So far none of the problems recorded has actually affected the mission.

Medium Term Planning 2 will start on 4 June and be completed by 1 July after four weeks of activities.

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 07:49 UT

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