The Venus Express spacecraft, on mission around Venus, is a virtual twin of Mars Express, but adapted to survive the harsh environment around this planet. For example, design changes have been implemented to withstand the heating of the spacecraft, four times greater at Venus than at Mars. Venus Express' solar arrays, resistant to high temperatures, are smaller for Venus Express, because there is higher solar illumination at Venus than at Mars.
With its set of state-of-the art instruments for planetary investigations, mostly inherited by the Mars Express and Rosetta mission, Venus Express is designed to make unprecedented studies of the largely unkown phenomena taking place in the Venusian atmosphere. It will also dig into the interaction between the solar wind and the planetary environment and will gather glimpses about the planet's surface, striclty coupled with the dense atmosphere.