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No. 215 - Mission Operations Update

No. 215 - Mission Operations Update

Report for Period 20 December to 26 December 2009The Venus Express spacecraft and instruments performed nominally during the reporting period. This week's activities focussed on performing the last science operations before Venus Express operations enter the solar conjunction phase on 29 December. All commands related to autonomous operations for the forthcoming solar conjunction phase were uplinked to the spacecraft on 25 December (DOY 359).

Bad weather at the site of the Cebreros ground station in Avila, Spain, impeded any contact with the spacecraft on 21 December (DOY 355). The 35-metre antenna that is used for the daily communication passes with Venus Express was covered in snow and ice. The image on the right was taken by the Cebreros webcam.      

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities:

Date DOY Main Activity
1503 20/12/09 354

Communications pass over Cebreros

1504 21/12/09 355

Communications pass over Cebreros.
No telemetry reception was possible as a result of the antenna being covered with snow and ice

1505 22/12/09 356

Communications pass over Cebreros

1506 23/12/09 357

Communications pass over Cebreros

1507 24/12/09 358

Communications pass over Cebreros

1508 25/12/09 359

Communications pass over Cebreros.
Uplink of commands for master timeline detailed agenda files (MDAF) containing the solar conjunction period

1509 26/12/09 360

Communications pass over Cebreros

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 360) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 255 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 850 seconds.


Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS)
The AOCS is in its nominal configuration and performing nominally. Operations continue with all four reaction wheels.

The slight increase in the friction level on reaction wheel 1 (RW1) that started earlier on DOY 352 lasted up to DOY 357. The bearing temperature of RW1 has followed the same pattern, showing an increased temperature between DOY 352 and DOY 357, dropping again afterwards.

The behaviour of RW2 remains the same as during the previous reporting periods (see status report no. 212).

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 radio science observations were made during the reporting period.

VIRTIS-M was operated in the visual channels only.

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

Future Milestones

  • Venus at superior conjunction on 11 January 2010. Venus Express superior conjunction operations: 29 December 2009 to 22 January 2010

Legal disclaimer
This report is based on the ESOC mission operations report, MOR #215. Please see the copyright section of the legal disclaimer (bottom of this page) for terms of use.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
19-Jul-2024 14:46 UT

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