Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Successful Venus Express main engine test

20.02.2006


One hundred days after beginning its cruise to Venus, ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft successfully tested its main engine for the first time in space.



The main engine test is a critical step in the mission. In fact, it is due to its powerful thrust that Venus Express will be able to ‘brake’ on arrival at Venus. The spacecraft must slow down in order to be captured in orbit around the planet.

The engine was fired during the night of 16/17 February, starting at 01:27 CET (00:27 UT) and the ‘burn’ lasted for about three seconds. Thanks to this engine burn, the spacecraft changed its velocity by almost three metres per second.


About one hour later, the data received from the spacecraft by the Venus Express ground control team (via ESA’s New Norcia antenna in Australia) revealed that the test was successful.

The engine performed as expected. The spacecraft reacted correctly to the push and was able to recover the control of its attitude and to correctly point its high-gain antenna back to Earth to communicate with ground control.

All data recorded during the burn will now be carefully analysed by Astrium (who built the spacecraft) and ESA’s engineers to study the performance of the engine in detail.

The next big milestone is the Venus Orbit Insertion manoeuvre on 11 April 2006, which will require the main engine firing sequence to operate for about 51 minutes in the opposite direction to the spacecraft motion. This braking will allow the spacecraft to counteract the pull of the Sun and Venus, and to start orbiting the planet.

Venus Express is currently at a distance of about 47 million kilometres from Earth.

Don McCoy | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Venus_Express/SEMVX5MVGJE_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>