Venus Express Update - June 20, 2006

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=39400

Operational Updates
Venus Express
European Space Agency
20 Jun 2006

Report for Period 11 June to 17 June 2006

During the reporting period, Venus Express experienced its first Safe
Mode since launch. This occured on 12 June, DoY 163, at the end of a
data recovery action due to a ground station problem on DoY 162.

The spacecraft is now back in routine operations and nominal planning
for the upcoming week has already been resumed. The Safe Mode
triggering
event is being analysed.

The table below shows a chronology of the main activities in the
reporting period:

MET Date DOY VPER# Main Activity
(Day)
215 11/06/06 162 51 Routine science operations
216 12/06/06 163 52 Routine science operations and SC Safe Mode
217 13/06/06 164 53 SC Safe Mode recovery
218 14/06/06 165 54 SC Safe Mode recovery
219 15/06/06 166 55 Bistatic Radar observation only
220 16/06/06 167 56 Routine science operations
221 17/06/06 168 57 Bistatic Radar observation only

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 168,
14:00) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 194 million km from the
Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 647 seconds.

Payload Activities

ASPERA
The instrument is regularly operated. At the time of the Safe Mode the
instrument was ON and was powered OFF by the payload safing procedure.
Nominal operations have been resumed in orbit 56.

MAG
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan. At
Safe Mode transition the instrument was ON and it has been powered OFF
by the payload safing procedure. After the Safe Mode the instrument has
been switched ON again on DoY 165 in Solar Wind mode as agreed with the
PI. Nominal planning has been resumed in orbit 56.

PFS
The instrument is currently OFF and is not included in the routine
planning. Any further attempt to move the scanner is now suspended
until
further notice.

SPICAV
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan. At
safe mode transition the instrument was OFF with shutter closed.

VeRA
Attitude commands for the bistatic operations in orbits 55 and 57 have
been recalculated at ESOC in an extremely short time and merged with
the
nominal activities of orbit 56. Spacecraft operations during the two
bistatic radar observations have been fully nominal. Some evidence of
echoes have been seen in real-time at the DSN Canberra station and data
are now being processed by the PI teams for further evidence.

VIRTIS
The observations during orbit 51 were completely skipped. At
spacecraft
Safe Mode transition the instrument was OFF. The instrument is now
regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

VMC
At spacecraft safe mode transition the instrument was OFF and it is now
regularly operated as part of the routine plan. Sun avoidance is
routinely checked manually.

Future Milestones

The spacecraft Safe Mode is now fully recovered and the impact on the
orbit assessed. Commands for the next planning period have been
generated already taking this deviation into account. The orbit
determination process has assessed that there is no need for an orbit
control manoeuvre in the next planning period therefore this will be
executed only at the end of August.

Medium Term Planning 2 has started on 4 June and will be completed by 1
July after four weeks of activities.

The next milestone for the mission is the preparation of the Mission
Commissioning Results Review to be held end of June.