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Future Venus Missions
vjkane
post Sep 22 2012, 12:47 AM
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QUOTE (machi @ Sep 21 2012, 09:43 AM) *
Missions for high resolution (1-10 meters) radar imaging of the Venusian surface were proposed by multiple teams. Most active today are teams from Israel (MuSAR mission with possible NASA cooperation) and India.


I wrote a blog entry on one of the Venus Discovery proposals, Raven,. As with all the other Venus Discovery proposals in the latest competition, it was not selected as a finalist.

In addition to the MuSAR proposal linked to above, the European science community is putting together a proposal that would use radar to monitor surface height changes as a measurement of geologic processes.

The track record for Venus mission proposals of any type -- orbital, entry probe, lander -- has been so poor that I wonder if competitive missions can be fit within the smaller cost-capped programs. So much may have been done that the cheap missions can't do exciting enough science to be selected and the missions that would be scientifically competitive bust the cost caps.


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dtolman
post Mar 13 2013, 02:24 PM
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Haven't seen it mentioned here but the Venera D mission appears to be on long-term hold according to the most recent reports.

Damn shame, as Venus has had virtually no surface exploration, and this is planned to include a lander and do surveys for future landing missions.

MOD NOTE: Moved posts about high-temp electronics for surface missions to its own topic here.
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colin_wilson
post Jul 30 2013, 10:52 AM
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Hi -

You may be interested to see this paper describing why ESA should spend 1bn to go back to Venus (and how they should spend it!).
I submitted this to ESA in response to a call for Science Themes for their next Large (1bn) mission.
Don't hold your breath waiting, though; This is for launch opportunities in 2025-2035.

The paper can be downloaded here:
http://www.atm.ox.ac.uk/user/wilson/Venus_...Wilson_2013.pdf

-Colin Wilson
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 30 2013, 01:36 PM
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Thanks for posting that.

Phil



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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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TheAnt
post Aug 26 2013, 05:42 PM
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Venus landsailing rover, a proposal and study of the concept.

NASA page

PDF presentation
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Explorer1
post Aug 27 2013, 02:57 AM
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Now that is an original idea, and it actually looks plausible, and the idea of control from orbit to circumvent the heat problem for electronics is especially ingenious. The 'Zephyr' deployment looks highly complex though; all those moving parts, and a parachute that could get tangled up...
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Chmee
post Aug 27 2013, 03:32 PM
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Yes, very original idea! However, having both high temperature electronics and the wind-sailing in the same probe seems too risky and very complex.. Instead, doing a 'proof of concept' stationary Venus lander with just the solar cells and high temp electronics, sounds like a good first step. In the same way that Mars Pathfinder tested new landing and rover concepts on Mars (i.e. a "Venus Pathfinder").
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vjkane
post Aug 29 2013, 06:07 AM
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Chmee - Good point. I also didn't see much about instruments in the presentation. All well and nice to be able to sail around the surface with the brains in orbit, but are their designs for cameras, spectrometers, etc, that can operate at Venus ambient?


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Explorer1
post Aug 29 2013, 07:11 AM
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Well the Venera missions did much of the pioneering work in that regard. Landing site matters too: the Venusian Everest is the best place in terms of both engineering and scientific interest (figuring out conclusively what the 'snow' on Maxwell is).
I'd also settle for a descent cam, Huygens style...
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0101Morpheus
post Dec 9 2013, 06:06 PM
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Here is a recent article on how a Venus mission can help us solve a lunar mystery. The reasons to send something there just keep piling up.

http://science.time.com/2013/12/04/new-tak...h-got-its-moon/
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Paolo
post Dec 9 2013, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE (0101Morpheus @ Dec 9 2013, 07:06 PM) *
Here is a recent article on how a Venus mission can help us solve a lunar mystery.


here you can read the article by Robin Canup. I always prefer reading the "first generation" articles
http://www.nature.com/news/planetary-scien...iracies-1.14270
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JRehling
post Jan 5 2015, 07:44 PM
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In the past two years, some various news and non-news that seems relevant to Venus exploration (and non-exploration!):

Plans by Russia and India for future Venus missions have been pushed back or gone mute. But in the meantime, India and China have had successes with missions to the Moon and Mars, which has some bearing on the capability of the world's developing space programs to be able to explore Venus.

Venus Express has done some great science from the orbital view looking down in IR/UV. Many of the major goals that remain, as described by VEXAG, focus on the lower atmosphere and surface. I think recent successes by India, China, and Japan show that some great Venus missions could be performed by these programs if they focused their attention there. In particular:

1) Sensitive in situ measurements of composition in the lower atmosphere: The best data we have came between 1978 and 1984, now over 30 years old. Huygens, using instruments of a vintage about half that age produced atmospheric composition measurements a few times more precise than we have for Venus. If that level of sensitivity could be improved upon for Venus, then calculations of isotope ratios would be highly improved from what we have now, and that would have a lot of bearing on our understanding of Venus's crustal/atmospheric evolution. That, in turn, has a bearing on understanding how Earth, Mars, and extrasolar terrestrial planets have evolved.

2) There has never been descent imaging performed at Venus. Even a probe lacking the ability to survive Venus's surface heat could return imagery from altitude that is vastly superior to the resolution of Magellan radar. A well-placed landing site could image two or more surface units as Huygens did on Titan, using existing maps to target the descent site(s), which could be chosen independently of the atmospheric goals. Two probes could potentially image four surface units from altitude.

2b) Older probes showed that short-term survival at the surface is not unattainable, so descent imagining could potentially turn into surface panoramas.

3) A radar mapper superior to Magellan is another worthy goal, and is yet another way to do great science without dealing with the surface heat.

It's hard to operate on the surface of Venus, but it's not hard to cruise to Venus and descend into its atmosphere. So far, China and India have prioritized Mars ahead of Venus in their space exploration plans. I think their interests might be served better by staking out some territory that the more active space programs have ignored, and Venus is a pretty big swath of territory not so far away.
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vjkane
post Jan 6 2015, 06:01 AM
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I think that we can expect several NASA Discovery and ESA M-class proposals for Venus in the coming months. The proposals seem to split between geology orbiters (radar and thermal spectrometers) and atmospheric probes or balloons. The numerous Earth science radar missions appear to have matured the technology to the point where Discovery or M-class missions are possible. I'm less familiar with probe and balloon technologies, but the teams proposing them are experienced and credible.

There are so many good ideas for Discovery and M-class proposals that it is hard to pick a favorite target. The Venus community has waited so long for a mission, though, that I will admit that a Venus mission seems due.



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JRehling
post Jan 12 2015, 08:39 PM
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Another look at the quality of Venus data:

The isotope ratio of 14N/15N on Titan is known to a degree of accuracy 100 times that of the same ratio for Venus.

I can't suss out how much of this is due to differences in the task (Titan's atmosphere is nearly all nitrogen) and how much to the fact that the relevant instruments performing the measurements were about 15 years older in the case of Venus. However, there have to be some gains to be had by flying a vintage 2015 instrument to Venus in order to update the data from 1983 instruments.
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katodomo
post Jan 12 2015, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane @ Jan 6 2015, 07:01 AM) *
The proposals seem to split between geology orbiters (radar and thermal spectrometers) and atmospheric probes or balloons. The numerous Earth science radar missions appear to have matured the technology to the point where Discovery or M-class missions are possible. I'm less familiar with probe and balloon technologies, but the teams proposing them are experienced and credible.

Realistically, going by the recommendations from the committee for the ESA L2/L3 selection, the thing that has a chance of getting through (and then a good chance for selection) is a moderately cheap high-resolution radar mission, something that builds on, renews and improves the Magellan data. Preferably with a limited-time frame of operations, nothing multi-year, and preferably with a proven, technologically mature bus.
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