News / 
Europe's Venus probe set for fiery demise

Europe's Venus probe set for fiery demise

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 17, 2014 at 8:21 a.m.


1 photo

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BERLIN (AP) — An unmanned spacecraft that has been studying the planet Venus for the past eight years is set to come to a fiery end in the coming weeks.

The European Space Agency says attempts to lift Venus Express into a higher orbit to prolong the mission into next year failed because the probe was "running on fumes."

Paolo Ferri, ESA's head of mission operations, said Wednesday that scientists are still receiving a weak signal from the spacecraft, but "we expect to lose the contact soon."

The probe has provided scientists with plentiful data on Venus' blazing hot, dense and noxious atmosphere. It has also provided tantalizing hints of continued volcanic activity on Earth's closest neighbor.

Ferry says Venus Express will likely burn up completely on descent in January.

___

http://www.esa.int/venusexpress

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast