Astronomer Shreyas Vissapragada @astroshrey ​tweeted

Check out the latest from @aciqra, @Yeqzids, et al (including myself!) on C/2021 A1 (Leonard) and its close approach to Venus:

The abstract ends:

...The flux of such meteors on Venus, and thus their potential direct or indirect observability, is highly uncertain as the comet's dust production history is poorly constrained at these distances, but will likely fall well below the meteor flux from comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)'s closer encounter to Mars in 2014, and thus poses negligible risk to any spacecraft in orbit around Venus. Dust produced in previous apparitions will not likely contribute substantially to the meteor flux, nor will dust from any future activity apart from an unlikely high speed (>0.5 km/s) dust outburst prior to the comet reaching r~2 au in 2021 September.

Are there actually any active (or not) spacecraft currently in orbit around Venus?


1 Answer 1


Akatsuki (JAXA) is currently active in orbit of Venus (since December 7, 2015), though it somewhat famously missed the first time it tried to orbit Venus. Miraculously, the mission team was able to setup another encounter with Venus (5 years later) and inserted into a larger (~11 day) than planned (~4 day) orbit. It is in an extended mission phase ("Latter Phase In Operation").

Venus Express (ESA) ran out of propellant in late 2014 and has probably decayed since then, though impossible to know for sure:


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