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 Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>