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No. 142 - Third Pericentre Lowering Manoeuvre

No. 142 - Third Pericentre Lowering Manoeuvre

Report for Period 27 July to 2 August 2008All operations have been nominal during the reporting period. The third pair of Orbit Control Manoeuvres (OCMs) to lower the pericenter altitude and to raise the apocentre altitude was executed. Planning of the fourth pair was performed and commands were uploaded to the spacecraft for execution during the next reporting period.

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

MET (Day) Date DOY Main Activity
992 27/07/08 209 Performance of apocentre raising OCM#3 just before Cebreros communication pass
993 28/07/08 210 Performance of pericentre lowering OCM#3 during Cebreros communication pass, to bring pericentre altitude down to 190 km
994 29/07/08 211 New Norcia pass, for tracking and to monitor the spacecraft status after pericentre manoeuvre.
Routine Operations at Cebreros pass
995 30/07/08 212

Routine Operations.
Combined atmospheric drag experiment + occultation pass with New Norcia ground station

996 31/07/08 213 Routine Operations.
Combined atmospheric drag experiment + occultation pass with New Norcia ground station
997 01/08/08 214

Routine Operations.
Combined atmospheric drag experiment + occultation pass with Deep Space Network ground station

998 02/08/08 215 Routine Operations.
Combined atmospheric drag experiment + occultation pass with Deep Space Network ground station

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 215) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 246.8 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 823 seconds.

Pericentre Lowering Campaign

Between 13 July and 5 August 2008 a series of OCMs is performed to lower the pericentre altitude of Venus Express (see also the link on the right hand side for more details).

Apocentre raising OCM#3
The purpose of the OCM executed at pericentre on 27 July was to raise the apocentre altitude by 10 km. The manoeuvre had a nominal magnitude of 53.6 mms-1. The calibration within the orbit determination showed a slight under-performance of 0.65% (-0.35 mms-1) with a 1-sigma uncertainty of 0.99% (0.53 mms-1). The increase in apocentre altitude was about 50 m less than planned.

Pericentre lowering OCM#3
The purpose of the OCM executed at apocentre on 28 July was to lower the pericentre altitude by 11 km to 190 km. The manoeuvre had a nominal magnitude of 705.8 mms-1. The calibration within the orbit determination showed a slight over-performance of 0.36% (+2.5 mms-1) with a 1-sigma uncertainty of 0.08% (0.6 mms-1). The reduction in pericentre altitude was about 40 m more than planned.

Orbital period change
The combined effect of the two manoeuvres was foreseen to decrease the orbital period by about 2 seconds. The actual decrease in orbital period was 0.15 seconds more than planned.

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument was regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

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

PFS
The instrument was not operated during the reporting period.

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

VeRA
Four combined atmospheric drag experiment & occultation measurements were taken with the New Norcia ground station and Deep Space Network ground station on DOY 212, 213, 214 and 215.

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

VMC
The instrument was regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

Future Milestones

  • Pericenter lowering operations to be completed on DOY 217 (4 August 2008)
  • High gain antenna (HGA1) S-band carrier power test is planned for 15 December 2008
  • Next quadrature phase will start on 19 December 2008

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Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the ESOC mission operations report, MOR #142. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (bottom of this page) for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
20-Nov-2019 10:02 UT

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