Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

No More Doubts About ESA's Venus Express!

Artist's impression of Venus Express orbiting Venus
Paris (ESA) Nov 12, 2002
ESA's Science Programme Committee (SPC) has given the final go-ahead for the Venus Express mission. The SPC, which met on 4 and 5 November 2002, unanimously confirmed its strong will to bring the mission to realisation.

Furthermore, the Committee endorsed and agreed on a solution to the financial issues that had still cast serious doubts on the mission.

On 11 July 2002, Europe took a step closer to Venus. At that time, the ESA Science Programme Committee had agreed unanimously to start work on Venus Express. Venus Express would have reused the Mars Express spacecraft design and needed to be ready for launch in 2005. Since then, ESA invested 7 million Euros to start the first mission design phase. However, the mission's fate was not yet final because one nation, Italy, still had not confirmed its participation in the payload. Italy was given until October 2002 to provide its final commitment.

At the deadline, Italy could not completely commit to the financial support required for the payload under their responsibility. To rescue the mission, however, the ESA Science Management in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) came to several financial proposals, one of which was eventually endorsed by SPC.

The Italian contribution to Venus Express will consist of the spare parts of the VIRTIS and PFS experiments and to the ASPERA instrument. ESA will financially contribute to the rest, for an amount of 8.5 million Euros. This amount also covers the integration and testing of the parts of the instruments Italy has taken on and anything else needed to fill other possible gaps to allow the Italian instruments to fly.

In exchange for ESA's support, the VIRTIS Science team will be further Europeanised.

ESA's management, the Science Programme Committee, the European scientific community, and the national space agencies have worked hard to get this far. ESA Science Director, Professor Southwood, at the end of the SPC works, said: "I'm extremely proud that the SPC managed to bring things together. Now we can clearly say to the scientists and industry: go to work to go to Venus!"

With Venus Express, ESA is the only agency world-wide with current plans to visit all the internal planets of the Solar System. However, both Japan and the United States have plans for future missions to Venus.

The idea behind Venus Express began in 2001 when ESA issued a call for ideas to reuse the Mars Express spacecraft design for a quick, low-cost mission. Among the constraints were that the new mission had to use the industrial teams already in place for Mars Express and that meant double-quick development. Despite the constraints, a large number of good ideas came in from scientists around Europe. Venus Express was eventually selected because of its great scientific value.

Venus is not well explored and an excellent group of instruments were easily available in Europe. These instruments had been developed as back-ups for either ESA's Mars Express spacecraft or ESA's comet-chaser mission, Rosetta. The instrument suite will be able to look at the planetary environment from surface to outermost atmosphere.

Venus is a twin to the Earth in terms of size and mass, yet has evolved in a radically different direction, with a surface temperature hotter than a kitchen oven and a choking mixture of noxious gases for an atmosphere.

Venus Express will make unique studies of this atmosphere and conduct the first radar soundings of the Venusian subsurface.

Astrium France and Astrium United Kingdom were responsible for the industrial study for Venus Express. The prime contractor for the next phase of design is Astrium France.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Venus Express Comes Into Vision
Paris - Jul 16, 2002
On 11 July 2002, Europe took a step closer to Venus. The ESA Science Programme Committee agreed unanimously to start work on Venus Express. Venus Express will reuse the Mars Express spacecraft design and needs to be ready for launch in 2005.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.