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Future Venus Missions
hendric
post Feb 13 2018, 07:24 PM
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Interesting article about future missions and capabilities.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/what-wi...go-venus?tgt=nr


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vjkane
post May 7 2018, 03:35 PM
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The EnVision Venus mapping mission was just selected as a finalist for ESA's M5 call (flight in late 2020s or early 2030s?)

Press Release

Webpage


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JRehling
post May 27 2018, 06:37 PM
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Venus exploration is at an interesting crossroads, because it now has a hand in three different competitions, and could win big if it is selected in two of those, or be neglected yet again if it is selected in zero.

EnVision plus VICI or any of the Discovery options with a lander, for example, would do a great job of revolutionizing the state of Venus science, undoubtedly leading to quite different possibilities for any subsequent mission to advance things further. In the best case, we could be at that status in the mid 2030s. In the worst case, we could reach the 100th anniversary of Mariner 2 with the last U.S. mission to Venus being Magellan and the last lander being Venera 14.
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vjkane
post May 28 2018, 03:11 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ May 27 2018, 10:37 AM) *
Venus exploration is at an interesting crossroads, because it now has a hand in three different competitions, and could win big if it is selected in two of those, or be neglected yet again if it is selected in zero.

Right now, Venus is in just one competition I'm aware of: EnVision in ESA's M5 competition (launch target appears to be early 2030s). I suspect that there will be proposals in the next Discovery competition, beginning next year if I recall with flight in mid-2020s.


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JRehling
post Jun 3 2018, 06:01 PM
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That's right, and more precisely, that is the only competition in which a Venus mission is alive for this cycle. I was referring to the ongoing presence of Venus missions in the Discovery and New Frontiers competitions which seems likely to continue until the alternatives are exhausted. The Venus concept VICI also has technology development funding (for the laser spectrometer, such as currently working on Mars) in hand from New Frontiers, which isn't a mission, but is a small start towards one. I'm not sure if that technology development could be used to strengthen the DAVINCI concept, like VICI led by PI Lori Glaze, in upcoming Discovery competitions. DAVINCI was more of a descent atmospheric probe with some surface imaging and a laser spectrometer whose goals only mention the atmosphere, not the surface, although the similarity to the Mars Curiosity instrument is mentioned. I'm curious if the atmosphere-only limitation on DAVINCI's laser spectrometer was due to expectations that it would fail before reaching the surface. If so, the technology development funding for a surface laser spectrometer on VICI could make DAVINCI a significantly more capable mission than in the last competition. One could imagine a very busy surface science mission of an hour or two while it composition-zapped nearby rocks.

It seems like Venus could win the second, third, or fourth -next New Frontiers mission competition (after Dragonfly or CAESAR), and/or the next Discovery mission competition (after the two asteroid missions fly). Nothing is guaranteed, but the competition would seem to be getting thinner every time Venus loses.
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vjkane
post Jun 4 2018, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Jun 3 2018, 10:01 AM) *
That's right, and more precisely, that is the only competition in which a Venus mission is alive for this cycle. I was referring to the ongoing presence of Venus missions in the Discovery and New Frontiers competitions which seems likely to continue until the alternatives are exhausted. The Venus concept VICI also has technology development funding (for the laser spectrometer, such as currently working on Mars) in hand from New Frontiers, which isn't a mission, but is a small start towards one. I'm not sure if that technology development could be used to strengthen the DAVINCI concept, like VICI led by PI Lori Glaze, in upcoming Discovery competitions. DAVINCI was more of a descent atmospheric probe with some surface imaging and a laser spectrometer whose goals only mention the atmosphere, not the surface, although the similarity to the Mars Curiosity instrument is mentioned. I'm curious if the atmosphere-only limitation on DAVINCI's laser spectrometer was due to expectations that it would fail before reaching the surface. If so, the technology development funding for a surface laser spectrometer on VICI could make DAVINCI a significantly more capable mission than in the last competition. One could imagine a very busy surface science mission of an hour or two while it composition-zapped nearby rocks.

It seems like Venus could win the second, third, or fourth -next New Frontiers mission competition (after Dragonfly or CAESAR), and/or the next Discovery mission competition (after the two asteroid missions fly). Nothing is guaranteed, but the competition would seem to be getting thinner every time Venus loses.

From other readings on LIBS/Raman spectroscopy on Venus' surface, there are challenges to both the transmission of the pulses and interpreting the resulting spectra under the very dense atmosphere. I don't think that there were any questions about its survival to arrive on the surface (and it wouldn't operated except on the surface).

An atmospheric probe (VICI - Discovery) and an orbiting radar/thermal spectral mapping orbiter (VOX - New Frontiers; VERITAS - Discovery) were judged at Category 1 (fully selectable by meeting all scientific and programmatic requirements) in the last Discovery and New Frontiers competitions. (Despite being Cat 1, VOX was not selected as a finalist, which was noted by the Venus community.) I would expect that both will be re-proposed for the next Discovery selection which will begin next year.

Between them, VICI and VOX/VERITAS would meet the high priority scientific goals laid out by the last Decadal Survey for Venus. (The VOX team apparently successfully argued that the surface study goals could be met by an orbiter, replacing the previous assumption that a lander was required.)

Interestingly, the time period for selecting the M5 mission (for which EnVision is a competitor) and the next Discovery mission will be similar. I hope that the two agencies don't select a Venus orbiter in the hopes that the other will.


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vjkane
post Jun 4 2018, 05:09 PM
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Venus Landed Platform Working Group

NASA has convened a Venus Landed Platform Working Group to assess high priority science investigations that are needed on the surface of Venus. Topic areas include Venus surface geology and geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, interior processes, and surface-atmosphere interactions. This includes investigations that may be enabled by new technology approaches, such as extended duration landers via active cooling or high temperature electronics, or using surface mobility. Individuals who would like to suggest important science investigations should please send a short description of the science question being addressed, the measurements required to answer the science question, and key technical requirements such as measurement duration or mobility requirements. Please send this input to the following individuals:

Martha Gilmore, mgilmore@wesleyan.edu
Natasha Johnson, natasha.m. johnson@nasa.gov
Walter Kiefer, kiefer@lpi.usra.edu
Jonathan Sauder, jonathan.sauder@jpl.nasa.gov

The Working Groupís first meeting begins on June 19.


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