Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Venus Express Enters Orbit

This morning the European Space Agency probe Venus Express successfully completed a 50 minute burn that brought it into orbit. In about two months all the scientific instruments will be commissioned and fully functioning, and we should see some really interesting data, including some images of the surface using certain infrared wavelengths that are more or less transparent to the thick cloud cover.
"The mission of Venus Express will be to carry out a detailed characterisation of this atmosphere, using state-of-the-art sensors in order to answer the questions and solve the mysteries left behind by the first wave of explorers. It will also be the first Venus orbiter to conduct optical observations of the surface through 'visibility windows' discovered in the infrared spectrum."

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