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Venus Express gets ready to take the plunge

After eight years in orbit, ESAs Venus Express has completed routine science observations and is preparing for a daring plunge into the planets hostile atmosphere.
Venus Express was launched on a SoyuzFregat from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November 2005, and arrived at Venus on 11 April 2006.
It has been orbiting Venus in an elliptical 24-hour loop that takes it from a distant 66 000 km over the south pole affording incredible global views to an altitude of around 250 km above the surface at the north pole, close to the top of the planets atmosphere.

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Venus Express unravels mysteries of the shrouded planet

The latest era of Venusian exploration is being performed courtesy of the European Space Agency's Venus Express (VEX).
Venus Express was launched on 9 November 2005 aboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
VEX entered orbit around Venus on 11 April 2006.

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Solar flares over, Venus Express restarts science investigations

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has returned to routine operation after its startracker cameras were temporarily blinded last week by radiation from a pair of large solar flares.
Science observations by ESA's Venus Express were temporarily suspended on 7 March after the two startrackers - used to help navigate and orient the spacecraft - were overwhelmed by excessive proton radiation.

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The Venus Express spacecraft, now orbiting Venus and much closer to the Sun than Earth, was affected by the radiation on 7 March.
The startracker cameras that help Venus Express measure its position and orientation in space were blinded starting at 01:41 GMT.

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 Raging solar storm 'blinds' Venus spacecraft

Strong radiation from one of the most intense solar storms in the past five years has temporarily "blinded" a European spacecraft in orbit around Venus, and mission controllers are now racing to fix the problem.
The European Space Agency's Venus Express probe, which is located much closer to the sun than Earth, experienced high doses of radiation from the recent solar storm, and on Tuesday at 8:40 p.m. EST, spacecraft operators reported that Venus Express' onboard startracker cameras had become blinded.

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Venus Express was launched in 2005.

2005: Venus Express (ESA)

Orbiter 2010:Venus Express



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Venus Express launched (2005)
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Venus Express (VEX) is the first Venus exploration mission of the European Space Agency. Launched on the 9th November 2005, it arrived at Venus in April 2006 and has been continuously sending back science data from its polar orbit around Venus.

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Surfing an alien atmosphere

Venus Express has completed an 'aerodrag' campaign that used its solar wings as sails to catch faint wisps of the planet's atmosphere. The test used the orbiter as an exquisitely accurate sensor to measure atmospheric density barely 180 km above the hot planet.
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Mission extensions approved for science missions
ESA's Science Programme Committee has approved the extension of mission operations for XMM-Newton, INTEGRAL, Venus Express, Mars Express and Cluster, as well as the ESA support to the operations of HST and SOHO, until 31 December 2012. An additional year of operations has been approved for Planck.


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The Venus Express mission has been extended to 2012.

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