Monday, April 10, 2006

Venus Express Almost There


The European Space Agency's Venus Express probe is scheduled to make final maneuvers into an elliptical orbit around our cloud-covered neighbor that at its closest will bring the tiny ship within 156 miles of the surface.

Launched aboard a Russian Soyuz-Fregat rocket, the spacecraft is a virtual copy of the successful Mars Express craft currently beaming back data on the Red Planet.

The mission is schedule to last about three years and produce the most detailed images ever of the thick Venusian cloud systems and whatever surface features are hiding beneath them.

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