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Vega 1 and 2 spacecraft

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Abstract

Vega 1 and Vega 2 (contraction of Venus and Halley in Russian) were two identical spacecraft designed by the USSR in cooperation with European countries to investigate Venus and Comet Halley. Launched from Baikonur by Proton rockets, respectively, on 15 and 21 December 1984, they released modules into Venus’s atmosphere and then flew through Halley’s coma on 6 and 9 March 1986, at 8900 and 8000 km nucleocentric distance. The television system (TVS) provided, after noise cleaning, the first evidence for the existence of a cometary nucleus. The dust mass spectrometers (PUMA) allowed a major discovery to be made. It indeed detected the presence of a large amount of organic molecules within cometary dust particles, so-called CHON, where this acronym stands for the most abundant elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. The close flyby of the nucleus of comet Halley on 13 March 1986 by the ESA (European Space Agency) Giotto mission was made possible by the navigation data...
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insu-03475928 , version 1 (11-12-2021)

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Anny Chantal Levasseur-Regourd. Vega 1 and 2 spacecraft. Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2022, 978-3-642-27833-4. ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1650-5⟩. ⟨insu-03475928⟩
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