Pre-planned thrill - Venus Express disappears behind Venus

Artist's impression of Venus Express orbit insertion
Venus Express orbit insertion
11 April 2006

At 09:45 CEST this morning, the Venus Express spacecraft disappeared as expected behind the planet disc. The spacecraft signal is expected to be blinded for about 10 minutes.

This phase, started about 25 minutes after the beginning of the main engine burn (09:17 CEST), is called ‘occultation’. Receiving the spacecraft signal after the occultation period would be the first positive sign of successful orbit insertion.

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