Venus Express flight controllers look back on first year of operation

Artist's impression of Venus Express orbit insertion
7 November 2006

One year ago, Venus Express soared into space for a 400-million km cruise to Earth's enigmatic planetary neighbour. Since then, the mission's Flight Control Team has seen hard work, plenty of challenges and satisfying success.

Launched 9 November 2005, Venus Express arrived at its destination in April 2006 after a five-month interplanetary journey to the inner solar system. Capture into Venus orbit was initiated by a main engine burn lasting about 50 minutes on the morning of 11 April, and -- after sixteen loops around the planet -- the spacecraft reached final operational orbit on 7 May 2006.

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