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No. 149 - Start of Eclipse Season

No. 149 - Start of Eclipse Season

Report for Period 14 September to 20 September 2008Nominal Venus Express mission operations were conducted during the reporting period. The eclipse season started with the spacecraft passing daily through Venus's shadow from 19 September onward. During these brief daily eclipses the solar arrays are not illuminated by the Sun's light.

As eclipse duration increases (currently the maximum duration is eight minutes) the corresponding battery voltage drops are closely monitored.

On 16 September 2008, delta differential one-way ranging (DDOR) was performed using the New Norcia and Cebreros ground stations to track the spacecraft. These measurements are performed monthly to support the accurate determination of the ephemeris for the planet Venus that is maintained by NASA's Solar System Dynamics Group.

The DDOR measurement principle uses a technique to highly accurately determine the position of a transmitter in space and relies on observing the time delay between reception of the signal from the transmitter by two ground stations at different positions on Earth.

In this case the Venus Express spacecraft is the transmitter and the two ground stations are New Norcia in western Australia and Cebreros in Avila, Spain.

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities:

MET (Day) Date DOY Main Activity
1041 14/09/08 258 Routine Operations
1042 15/09/08 259 Routine Operations
1043 16/09/08 260 Routine Operations.
DDOR between 09:11 and 10:11
1044 17/09/08 261

Routine Operations

1045 18/09/08 262 Routine Operations
1046 19/09/08 263

Routine Operations

1047 20/09/08 264 Routine Operations

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 264) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 216.0 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 720 seconds.

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
No measurements were taken during the reporting period.

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

  • 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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This report is based on the ESOC mission operations report, MOR #149. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (bottom of this page) for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
9-Aug-2020 03:24 UT

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