EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / V. BECKMANN / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / V. BECKMANN / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Venus Express launch rocket surrounded by gantries prior to launch. Venus Express was launched in a Fregat vehicle on a Soyuz rocket. It lifted off on 9th November 2005 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will take 163 days to reach Venus. It will primarily study the thick atmosphere, which is responsible for Venus' "runaway greenhouse effect". Venus Express is a virtual twin of ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, launched in 2003 to study Mars. This approach saved time and money on the mission.
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