- Launched in 2005
- Ended in 2014
- Mission: To investigate the Venusian atmosphere and weather system
- Airbus Defence and Space led the development of the spacecraft
Launched in 2005, the first European spacecraft to visit Venus spent eight years studying the planet’s atmosphere and erratic and largely inexplicable weather system. The analysis of the data that Venus Express collected has been crucial for the understanding of long-term climatic evolution processes on the neighbouring Earth.
As the European Space Agency’s prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space was responsible for the design and development of the spacecraft. The company met the mission’s tight schedule and budget by re-using the Mars Express spacecraft design as well as spare instruments from the Rosetta and Mars Express programmes.
Venus Express ended its mission in November 2014.