Venus Express aerobraking


Visualisation of the Venus Express aerobraking manoeuvre, which will see the spacecraft orbiting Venus at an altitude of around 130 km from 18 June to 11 July. In the month before, the altitude will gradually be reduced from around 200 km to 130 km. If the spacecraft survives and fuel permits, the elevation of the orbit will be raised back up to approximately 450 km, allowing operations to continue for a further few months. Eventually, however, the spacecraft will plunge back into the atmosphere and the mission will end.

Credit: ESA–C.Carreau

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  1. And why Venus and not in the Earth? or Mars? What have Venus of interest, apart from high pressure, infernal heat and winds of +200km/h? venus is super inhospitable place even for a machine.

  2. Great stuff guys. This is tax money wisely spent. Keep up the good work ESA. Rosetta, Venus Express, Galileo…and more to come. But I believe ESA should partner with some major media content producer to bring more science to the masses (BBC or another) and get more prime time TV coverage. The USA has learned this lesson ages ago. People watching this in Youtube are already usual consumers..we need more.

  3. Holy Crap! 130km?!?!? You guys are If you don't mind me asking, at what speed will it be entering/exiting, what angle and what max dynamic pressure on the vessel do you expect?

  4. Good job. Next time, add 10m inflattable heat shields and you can dive deeper. But you have to retract panels so dont forget to use a HECS 2 or stock some batteries.

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