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Solar System Research

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 185–209 | Cite as

Venus express: Highlights of the nominal mission

  • D. V. TitovEmail author
  • H. Svedhem
  • F. W. Taylor
  • S. Barabash
  • J. -L. Bertaux
  • P. Drossart
  • V. Formisano
  • B. Häusler
  • O. Korablev
  • W. J. Markiewicz
  • D. Nevejans
  • M. Pätzold
  • G. Piccioni
  • J. -A. Sauvaud
  • T. L. Zhang
  • O. Witasse
  • J. -C. Gerard
  • A. Fedorov
  • A. Sanchez-Lavega
  • J. Helbert
  • R. Hoofs
Open Access
Article

Abstract

Venus Express is the first European (ESA) mission to the planet Venus. Its main science goal is to carry out a global survey of the atmosphere, the plasma environment, and the surface of Venus from orbit. The payload consists of seven experiments. It includes a powerful suite of remote sensing imagers and spectrometers, instruments for in-situ investigation of the circumplanetary plasma and magnetic field, and a radio science experiment. The spacecraft, based on the Mars Express bus modified for the conditions at Venus, provides a versatile platform for nadir and limb observations as well as solar, stellar, and radio occultations. In April 2006 Venus Express was inserted in an elliptical polar orbit around Venus, with a pericentre height of ∼250 km and apocentre distance of ∼66000 km and an orbital period of 24 hours. The nominal mission lasted from June 4, 2006 till October 2, 2007, which corresponds to about two Venus sidereal days. Here we present an overview of the main results of the nominal mission, based on a set of papers recently published in Nature, Icarus, Planetary and Space Science, and Geophysical Research Letters.

PACS numbers

96.30.Ea 96.12.Jt 96.12.Kz 96.12.Ma 96.12.Wx 

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. V. Titov
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • H. Svedhem
    • 3
  • F. W. Taylor
    • 4
  • S. Barabash
    • 5
  • J. -L. Bertaux
    • 6
  • P. Drossart
    • 7
  • V. Formisano
    • 8
  • B. Häusler
    • 9
  • O. Korablev
    • 2
  • W. J. Markiewicz
    • 1
  • D. Nevejans
    • 10
  • M. Pätzold
    • 11
  • G. Piccioni
    • 12
  • J. -A. Sauvaud
    • 13
  • T. L. Zhang
    • 14
  • O. Witasse
    • 3
  • J. -C. Gerard
    • 15
  • A. Fedorov
    • 16
  • A. Sanchez-Lavega
    • 17
  • J. Helbert
    • 18
  • R. Hoofs
    • 19
  1. 1.Max-Planck Institute for Solar System ResearchKatlenburg-LindauGermany
  2. 2.Space Research Institute (IKI)MoscowRussia
  3. 3.ESA/ESTECNoordwijkThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Oxford UniversityOxfordUK
  5. 5.IRFKirunaSweden
  6. 6.Service d’AeronomieCNRSParisFrance
  7. 7.LESIAObservatoire de ParisMeudonFrance
  8. 8.IFSI/INAFRomeItaly
  9. 9.Universitute der BundeswehrMünchenGermany
  10. 10.Institute for Space AeronomyBrusselsBelgium
  11. 11.Rheinean Institute for Environmental researchUniversitute zu KülnCologneGermany
  12. 12.IASF/CNRRomeItaly
  13. 13.Centre d’Etude Spatiale des RayonnementsTolouseFrance
  14. 14.Space Research InstituteGrazAustria
  15. 15.LPAPUniversite de LiegeBrusselsBelgium
  16. 16.CESRToulouseFrance
  17. 17.Universidad del Pais VascoBilbaoSpain
  18. 18.Institute for Planetary ResearchDLRBerlinGermany
  19. 19.ESA/ESACVillanueva de la CanadaMadridSpain

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