[meteorite-list] Venus Express Just Days Away From Re-entering Venus' Atmosphere
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 09:50:15 -0800 (PST)
Update on VEX carrier monitoring 22:00 CET
European Space Agency
January 15, 2015
As we described last Friday, the operations team at ESOC are able to continue
monitoring radio signals from Venus Express; they can 'see' the X-band
carrier wave being transmitted from the spacecraft's high-gain antenna
despite the fact that it is not pointed at Earth, although this, too,
is steadily dropping off.
Today (Thursday, 15 Jan), VEX spacecraft operations engineer Rick Blake,
at ESOC, sent in this update:
During the Cebreros tracking station pass for VEX yesterday, the carrier
signal appears to have improved compared to the 'short' pass that we saw
via Malargue station the day before. The pericentre passage prior to this
pass was predicted to be at an altitude of 128.8 km, the subsequent pericentre
passage is predicted to be at an altitude of 127.2 km.
Venus Express mission manager Patrick Martin says that the most recent
(calculated, not observed) altitude of VEX is now below the lowest ever
achieved during the aerobraking campaign, and that loss of signal will
most likely occur in a matter of days rather than weeks.
Received on Fri 16 Jan 2015 12:50:15 PM PST