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Venus Express Italian Day on 4 October
Source : ESA, the 04/10/2004 at 16h13

To mark completion of the assembly of the Venus Express spacecraft, Alenia Spazio is holding a Venus Express Day on 4 October in Turin, Italy, in cooperation with Astrium SAS and the European Space Agency.

Venus Express is the first European mission to this, the second planet in the Solar System. Often referred to as ‘Earth’s twin’, Venus holds many mysteries that intrigue scientists. The main question is why a planet similar to Earth in size, mass and composition could have evolved so differently over the course of the last four thousand million years.

Venus Express will make the first multispectral global examination of the atmosphere of Venus. Completely different from the one around Earth, the Venusian atmosphere appears to be hot and dense. Venus Express will investigate the choking ‘greenhouse’ effect, the hurricane-force winds that encircle the planet, and its mysteriously weak magnetic field.

Completion of assembly of the Venus Express spacecraft, including integration and testing of the flight equipment and experiments, is an important milestone. Scheduled for launch on 26 October 2005, Venus Express is currently being made ready for shipment to Astrium, ESA’s prime contractor, in Toulouse, France in mid-October this year. There, further tests to prove the spacecraft's flight readiness will take place.

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