ESA chose EADS/Astrium as a prime contractor for the development of the Venus Express satellite.
The satellite was based on the Mars Express spacecraft and reused most of its subsystems. The main differences were its thermal control system, which was redesigned to tolerate Venus’s much higher temperatures and greater albedo; and the solar panels, which were entirely renewed and based on high-temperature GaAs cells. The panels were also half the size of those on Mars Express (5.7 m²).
Here are the satellites’ main specifications:
|Dimensions||1.5 x 1.8 x 1.4 m|
|Solar array surface||5.71 m²|
|Primary engine||415 Newtons|
|Attitude control thrusters||10 Newtons|
|Power||800 W on Earth|
1100 W in Venus orbit