European Space Agency's Venus Express Mission

Current Status

The Venus Express mission has been in operation since 2006 and the collected data continues to provide new and intriguing clues about our nearest solar system neighbor. Incoming data has provided new details about the Venus atmosphere as well as the surface (VIRTIS-M). A special issue of Icarus (International Journal of Solar System Studies) was published in fall 2011, presenting results from the mission's first five years. All experiments have been extended by ESA through December of 2014.

Brief History

On November 9th of 2005, Venus Express was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Successful insertion into Venus' orbit took place on April 11, 2006 and data analysis is well underway. Venus Express achieved its desired orbit in May and has been sending routine data from its science instruments. Results are being announced as they become available. The mission is expected to provide data on the Venus atmosphere for several of the planet's days.

The Venus Express mission has many US participating and interdisciplinary scientists who are supported by NASA. We are pleased to present the Education and Public Outreach efforts for the Venus Express Mission in cooperation with the European Space Agency and support from NASA.

Venus Express Mission Official Website [ESA]

Venus Express Science & Technology [ESA]

Current & Future Exploration of Venus


PLANET-C AKATSUKI (PLANET-C) was launched using an H-IIA launch vehicle in 21 May 2010 (JST) from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan . The spacecraft arrived at Venus as planned in December, but did not enter into an orbit around Venus. Due to a malfunction in the orbit insertion process which resulted in an insufficient thrust to slow the spacecraft enough to be captured by Venus’ gravity, it is now orbiting the Sun in a ~ 200 day orbit. The next opportunity to enter into orbit around Venus will occur in 2015/2016 and another attempt will be made by JAXA pending some tests of the insertion motor.


VEXAG The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) was established by NASA in July 2005 to identify scientific priorities and strategy for exploration of Venus. Open to all international scientists, VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurements.

Last Update: May 1, 2013