PUBLISHED: 14:31 GMT, 08 July 2014 | UPDATED: 22:28 GMT, 08 July 2014

After eight years in orbit, ESA's Venus Express has completed routine science observations and is preparing for a daring plunge into the planet's hostile atmosphere.

t has been orbiting Venus in an elliptical 24-hour loop that takes it from a distant 66 000 km over the south pole -- affording incredible global views -- to an altitude of around 250 km above the surface at the north pole, close to the top of the planet's atmosphere.
 

 

 

 

With a suite of seven instruments, the spacecraft has provided a comprehensive study of the ionosphere, atmosphere and surface of Venus.

This video includes interviews in English with Håkan Svedhem, ESA mission scientist and Patrick Martin, ESA Venus Express mission manager.

 

Venus Express was launched on 9 November 2005, and arrived at Venus on 11 April 2006.

 

Venus Express plunging into the atmosphere

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