Venus Express 'talks' to Earth

Artist's view of Venus Express communicating with Earth
11 April 2006

At 11:12 CEST Venus Express re-established communication with Earth for the first time after the start of the orbit insertion manoeuvres.

After the end of the main engine burn, Venus Express still had to perform a few automatic operations. These included re-orienting the solar panels towards the Sun and one of its high gain antennas (the smaller High Gain Antenna 2) towards Earth.

It is through this antenna that the spacecraft established the first communication link with Earth and started to send back information about its health status. The spacecraft data are sent to ESA’s European Spacecraft Operations Centre (ESOC) via ESA’s Cebreros ground station near Madrid. The data downlink lasts for a few hours.

Information about Venus Express’ actual trajectory will be available from ESOC’s flight dynamics team around 12:30 CEST.

Copyright 2000 - 2014 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.