Venus Express - Next Stop Venus ESA TV Exchanges in less than three weeks from now, ESA will launch Venus Express, Europe's first mission to our sister planet. Today's transmission looks at the spacecraft, how it was built, and why it so closely resembles Mars Express, ESA's other planetary mission. The video includes:
0:30 Next Stop Venus: Initial animated video of ESA’s Mars Express above Mars, and video of Venus Express during satellite assembly.
1:03 Video of our Universe. Even if the Earth and Venus are comparable in size and were created at the same time, there are major differences on the two planets.
1:25 The objective of the Venus Express probe is to carry out the most compound study of the Venus atmosphere, and the go to the surface and understand its global dynamics.
1:42 Venus Express Programme starting in 2001, and with only four years from concept to launch, no other science missions has been developed so rapidly. Under prime contractor ship of EADS Astrium 25 major subcontractors have done this work, and work was started overlapping Mars Express guaranteeing continuity and cost has been greatly reduced.
2:11 Josian Fabrian, Venus Express EADS Astrium Project Manager, presents the development. Re-use of hardware technology from Mars Express has reduced the costs.
2:45 Venus Express has onboard seven instruments including spectrometers, spectro-imagers, atom electron analyzer and a magnetometer.
3:09 Håkan Svedham, Venus Express ESA Project Scientist, explains what the Venus Express will be able to observe.
3:46 Venus Express spacecraft introduction on shape, size and other characteristics.
4:13 Andrea Accomazzo, Venus Express ESA Operations Manager, presents some of the differences between Mars Express and Venus Express, and the special facilities for Venus Express to communicate to Earth
4:44 Presentation of the Venus Express orbit. The mission will be controlled from ESA Mission Space Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, relying on ESA’s network of tracking station and in particular on new Deep Space Ground Station at Cebreros near Madrid in Spain.
5:06 Manfred Warhaut, Venus Express ESA Ground Segment Manager, explain the complexity of tracking Venus Express from Earth.
5:39 Lift-off will be as for Mars Express from the Baikonour in Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz rocket, which will send Venus Express probe on its 162 days journey to Venus. When the Venus Express probe arrives in April 2006 its main engine will fire for 53 minutes allowing the probe to be captured by the Venus gravity.
6:20 Don McCoy, Venus Express ESA Project Manager explains that Venus Express has seven instruments which will enable to look through the atmosphere down to the surface as well as to look on the magnetic field that is associated with the plasma around the atmosphere.
6:37 The mission is planned to last for two complete planetary revolutions, which is the equivalent of about 500 Earth days. However the probe has enough fuel for another 500 days.
7:02 The end