Venus Express expected in orbit on April 11

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Venus Express expected in orbit on April 11

After the success of the Mars Express, things look good for another one

 http://physorg.com/news1214...

Venus Express mission controllers at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) are in intensive preparation for an 11 April arrival at the spacecraft's namesake destination. The critical manoeuvre will involve a deft combination of basic physics, expert spacecraft engineering and precise timing.

Next month's Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) will mark the arrival of the first ESA mission at Venus, one of the Solar System's most enigmatic planets.

Orbit insertion comprises a series of telecommands, engine burns and manoeuvres designed to slow the spacecraft from a velocity of 29 000 km per hour relative to Venus just before the first burn to an entry velocity some 15 percent slower, allowing it to be captured into orbit around the planet.

In the night between 16 and 17 February, Venus Express passed its VOI readiness review after a successful burn of its main engine, providing a thrust of 400 Newtons," said Don McCoy, Venus Express Project Manager. "This was followed by a minor mid-course correction provided by the spacecraft's four 10-Newton thrusters on 24 February."

A 400-Newton engine generates 625 kilowatts of power, making a typical automotive engine seem feeble in comparison
By netchicken: posted on 29-3-2006








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