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ESA Venus Express Status Report No. 74 - VIRTIS Movie Passes

Status Report From: ESA Venus Express Mission
Posted: Monday, May 7, 2007

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25 Apr 2007 16:06. Report for Period 8 April to 14 April 2007 During the reporting period the VIRTIS movie observations have taken place. The resulting science data have been received on ground in its entirety via DSN station DSS-63 (Madrid, 70m diameter), with Cebreros serving as backup in shadow-track. No data loss has been reported.

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

MET (Day) Date DOY VPER# Main Activity
516 08/04/07 098 352 First DSN pass for downlink of VIRTIS movie data
517 09/04/07 099 353 DSN pass for downlink of VIRTIS movie data
518 10/04/07 100 354 DSN pass for downlink of VIRTIS movie data
519 11/04/07 101 355 DSN pass for downlink of VIRTIS movie data
520 12/04/07 102 356 Last DSN pass for downlink of VIRTIS movie data
521 13/04/07 103 357 Routine Mission operations. TM bit rate back to 154 kbps
522 14/04/07 104 358 Routine Mission Operations

At the end of the last Cebreros pass in the reporting period (DOY 104, 18:00z) Venus Express was orbiting Venus at 169 million km from the Earth. The one-way signal travel time was 564 seconds.

Payloads

ASPERA
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

MAG
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

PFS
This instrument is OFF and is not operated.

SPICAV
The payload was regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

VeRA
No radio science is performed this week.

VIRTIS
The instrument performed as expected for the Movie Observations.

VMC
The instrument is regularly operated as part of the routine plan.

Ground Facilities

During the reporting period both Cebreros and DSN have supported Venus Express operations, often concurrently. Between DoY 098 and 102, DSS-63 has been used as the main communications antenna on the nominal chain, while at the same time Cebreros has been tracking the spacecraft and routing telemetry. This 'dual station' support has proven very useful in increasing the reliability of the link to the spacecraft.

A single instance of lost link occurred for DSS-63 during the pass on DoY 101, due to bad weather at the station. The link problems were also observed on Cebreros, but at slightly different times. As a result, all the data lost on DSS-63 could be recovered by performing an off-line retrieval from Cebreros.

Future Milestones

The testing of operations during quadrature is on-going; the next quadrature phase will start in May 2007.

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