Artist's impression of Venus Express skimming the Venusian atmosphere (Image: ESA–C. Carreau)
Artist's impression of the aerobraking maneuver (Image: ESA–C. Carreau)
Artist's impression of Venus Express (Image: ESA)
Venus Express is expected to keep operating until December (Image: ESA)
Artist's impression of Venus Express firing its thrusters (Image: ESA)
Facing the alternative of a fiery death, the ESA’s Venus Express orbiter has completed a daring maneuver that extended the life of the unmanned explorer by several months. Under command from Earth, the spacecraft spent a month skimming the outer edge of the Venusian atmosphere to alter its velocity and send it into a new orbit that will keep it operating until perhaps the end of the year.
Other Images from this Gallery