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No. 173 - Mission Update

No. 173 - Mission Update

Report for Period 1 March to 7 March 2009The Venus Express spacecraft and payload performed nominally during this week.

On 4 and 5 March the Cebreros antenna had to be put in stow position due to strong winds at the ground station (between 12-22 ms-1), resulting in the loss of some VMC science data as science dumps were interrupted.

VIRTIS-M continues to be operated in the visual channels only and VIRTIS-H operations resume following the decision of the Mission Review Board held on 4 March.

ESA's Maspalomas 15m-dish ground station, located on Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands, has been used for Venus Express tracking measurements. This was to validate the ground station for tracking of the Planck spacecraft during the mission's upcoming Launch and Early Orbit Phase (nominal launch date set for 16 April 2009). The Venus Express tracking data processed by Flight Dynamics was declared of excellent quality.

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities:

MET
(Day)
Date DOY Main Activity
1209 01/03/09 060

Communications pass over Cebreros

1210 02/03/09 061

Communications pass over Cebreros

1211 03/03/09 062

Communications pass over Cebreros

1212 04/03/09 063

Short communications pass over Cebreros due to strong local winds

1213 05/03/09 064

Telemetry bitrate increased to 152 kbps.
Short communications pass over Cebreros due to strong local winds

1214 06/03/09 065

Communications pass over Cebreros.
Pass started later on VSOC request.

1215 07/03/09 066

Communications pass over Cebreros

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 066) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 49.9 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 166.4 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
VIRTIS-M was operated in the visual channels only.

VMC
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.

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Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the ESOC mission operations report, MOR #173. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (bottom of this page) for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
10-Jul-2020 10:17 UT

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