Space.com reports the Venus Express orbiter of the European Space Agency (ESA) has almost arrived at Venus after a 5 months flight.
“I don’t dare get too excited because we have to be calm if there are any problems,” Venus Express project manager Don McCoy told SPACE.com. “It will feel good once we know we’re in orbit around the planet.”
The ESA launched the $226 million (220 million Euro) Venus Express mission spaceward in November 2005 on what the space agency has billed its fastest mission to fly. Not since NASA’s Magellan mission ended with the spacecraft’s death plunge into the Venusian thick atmosphere in 1994 has the planet had a dedicated orbiter around it.