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No. 171 - Mission Update

No. 171 - Mission Update

Report for Period 15 February to 21 February 2009The Venus Express spacecraft and payload performed nominally during this week. The third VIRTIS cooler test took place on 19 February and the results are currently being analyzed by the VIRTIS PI Team.

On 15 February 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:

Date DOY Main Activity
1195 15/02/09 046

Communications pass over Cebreros.
DDOR with New Norcia between 10:15-11:15 

1196 16/02/09 047

Communications pass over Cebreros

1197 17/02/09 048

Communications pass over Cebreros.
Telemetry bitrate changed to 91 kbps

1198 18/02/09 049

Communications pass over Cebreros

1199 19/02/09 050

Communications pass over Cebreros.
Third VIRTIS cooler test

1200 20/02/09 051

Communications pass over Cebreros

1201 21/02/09 052

Communications pass over Cebreros

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 052) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 62.9 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 209 seconds.

Payload Activities

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

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

The instrument was not operated during the reporting period.

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

No measurements were taken during the reporting period.

VIRTIS was operated in the visual channels only.

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

Future Milestones

  • Preparation for next gravity observation campaign with the Canberra ground station CAN43 on 15 April 2009.
  • Battery Deep Discharge Test is planned for 22 April 2009.
  • Start of next (outbound) quadrature phase on 29 May 2009.
  • Swap of high gain antenna (HGA) from HGA2 to HGA1 on 8 June 2009.

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the ESOC mission operations report, MOR #171. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (bottom of this page) for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
29-May-2024 03:25 UT

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