Venus Express is alive


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After diving into Venus’s atmosphere on an aerobraking test that could have destroyed the spacecraft, the European probe Venus Express has now successfully used its last bits of fuel to raise its orbit back to research height.

Its present orbit will probably decay sometime in December, when the spacecraft will burn up in the atmosphere. However, the scientists running the mission though that was likely to happen during the aerobraking maneuver. Instead, Venus Express is giving them about another half year of research.

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