Encyclopedia Astronautica
Venus Express

Venus Express
European Venus probe. One launch, 2005.11.09. European Union probe to Venus, with the primary mission of studying the atmosphere and space environment of the planet.

Payloads carried included:

  • VMC - Venus Monitoring Camera
  • VIRTIS - ultraviolet-visible-infrared imaging spectrometer
  • SPICAV - solar-stellar ultraviolet/infrared spectrometer,
  • PFS infrared planetary Fourier spectrometer
  • ASPERA plasma instrument
  • VERA - Venus Radio Science instrument
  • Magnetometer.

First Launch: 2005.11.09.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Soyuz FG Uprated Soyuz booster designed for high performance Russian government missions and delivery of Soyuz and Progress spacecraft to the International Space Station. Upgraded engines, modern avionics, reduced non-Russian content. Unknown differences to Soyuz ST. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Venus Express Chronology

2005 November 9 - . 03:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz FG. LV Configuration: Soyuz-FG/Fregat Zh15000-010.
  • Venus Express - . Mass: 1,270 kg (2,790 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venus Express. USAF Sat Cat: 28901 . COSPAR: 2005-045A. Launch delayed from October 26. The Soyuz placed the probe and Fregat upper stage into a 30 km x 190 km x 51.6 deg orbit around the earth. At apogee the Fregat stage made a 50 m/s maneuver to circularize the orbit. At the appropriate moment in this parking orbit, the Fregat fired again, then separated from the now Venus-bound probe at 05:11 GMT. Venus Express passed lunar orbit on November 10 at 10:10 GMT and went into a 0.702 AU x 0.993 AU x 0.26 deg inclination solar orbit. It was to brake itself into a 250 km x 326,550 km x 89.7 deg orbit around Venus on 11 April 2006 at 08:40 GMT. Two maneuvers would put in its final 24-hour Venus orbit of 282 x 66,911 km x 90.0 deg on 30 April. This was selected to synchronise the satellite with tracking stations on earth, while the planet slowly revolves below its perigee point over the following several months.

2006 April 11 - .
2006 July 4 - .
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