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Sample records for venus express mission

  1. Venus Express ground segment and mission operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warhaut, Manfred; Accomazzo, Andrea

    2005-11-01

    ESOC was responsible for developing the ground-segment facilities for both the Rosetta and Mars Express interplanetary mission. The high degree of commonality between those spacecraft and Venus Express, the twin spacecraft of Mars Express, has allowed large-scale re-use of ground-segment elements and the replication of the operations concepts for those spacecraft, resulting in significant cost and risk reductions.

  2. Venus 2000 Mission Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folta, David; Marr, Greg; Vaughn, Frank; Houghton, Martin B.

    1997-05-01

    As part of the Discovery Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has solicited proposals for inter-planetary research to conduct solar system exploration science investigations. A mission, called Venus 2000 (V2k), has been proposed for exploration of the Venus Atmosphere. This is NASAs first voyage to Venus to investigate key science objectives since Magellan and will be launched in summer 2002. In keeping with discovery program requirements to reduce total mission cost and utilize new technology, V2k mission design and control will focus on the use of innovative and proven trajectory analysis programs and control systems provided by the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

  3. Manned Venus Orbiting Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willis, E. A., Jr.

    1967-01-01

    Manned orbiting stopover round trips to Venus are studied for departure dates between 1975 and 1986 over a range of trip times and stay times. The use of highly elliptic parking orbits at Venus leads to low initial weights in Earth orbit compared with circular orbits. For the elliptic parking orbit, the effect of constraints on the low altitude observation time on the initial weight is shown. The mission can be accomplished with the Apollo level of chemical propulsion, but advanced chemical or nuclear propulsion can give large weight reductions. The Venus orbiting mission weights than the corresponding Mars mission.

  4. Venus Aerobot Multisonde Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, James A.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor; Balaram, J. Bob; Campbell, Bruce; Gershaman, Robert; Greeley, Ronald; Hall, Jeffery L.; Cameron, Jonathan; Klaasen, Kenneth; Hansen, David M.

    1999-01-01

    Robotic exploration of Venus presents many challenges because of the thick atmosphere and the high surface temperatures. The Venus Aerobot Multisonde mission concept addresses these challenges by using a robotic balloon or aerobot to deploy a number of short lifetime probes or sondes to acquire images of the surface. A Venus aerobot is not only a good platform for precision deployment of sondes but is very effective at recovering high rate data. This paper describes the Venus Aerobot Multisonde concept and discusses a proposal to NASA's Discovery program using the concept for a Venus Exploration of Volcanoes and Atmosphere (VEVA). The status of the balloon deployment and inflation, balloon envelope, communications, thermal control and sonde deployment technologies are also reviewed.

  5. The Pioneer Venus Missions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mountain View, CA. Ames Research Center.

    This document provides detailed information on the atmosphere and weather of Venus. This pamphlet describes the technological hardware including the probes that enter the Venusian atmosphere, the orbiter and the launch vehicle. Information is provided in lay terms on the mission profile, including details of events from launch to mission end. The…

  6. Questions About Venus after Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    2016-04-01

    The observations from Venus Express for nearly 13 Venus years or 26 solar days from April 2006 till 27 November 2014. Earlier, Venus has been explored by fly-by spacecraft, orbiters, descending probes, landers and floating balloons. These data have been supplemented by many ground based observations at reflected solar wavelengths, short and long wave infrared, millimeter to radio waves. Venus Express added significantly to the collection that will continue to be examined for understanding the planet's atmosphere and continuing analysis will inform us about new facets of the atmosphere and raise new questions. Inter-comparison of the measurements have been able to provide a general idea of the global atmosphere. However, re-visiting these observations also raises some questions about the atmosphere that have not received much attention lately but deserve to be explored and considered for future measurements. These questions are about the precise atmospheric composition in the deep atmosphere, the atmospheric state in the lower atmosphere, the static stability of the lower atmosphere, the clouds and hazes, the nature of the ultraviolet absorber(s) in the cloud layer, and wind speed and direction near the surface from equator to the pole, interaction between the atmosphere and the solid planet. The answers to these questions are important for a better understanding of Venus, its weather and climate and how the climate has evolved. The questions include: (i) What are the implications of the supercritical state of the two primary constituents of the Venus atmosphere - carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the lower atmosphere? (ii) Is the Venus (lower) atmosphere well mixed? (iii) What determines the observed alternating stable and unstable layers (static stability) in the lower atmosphere? (iv) What causes the contrasts seen in reflected sunlight which are largest at ultraviolet wavelengths and very muted at other visible wavelengths? (v) what causes the morning -afternoon

  7. The Challenges and Opportunities for International Cooperative Radio Science; Experience with Mars Express and Venus Express Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmes, Dwight P.; Thompson, Tommy; Simpson, Richard; Tyler, G. Leonard; Dehant, Veronique; Rosenblatt, Pascal; Hausler, Bernd; Patzold, Martin; Goltz, Gene; Kahan, Daniel; Valencia, Jose

    2008-01-01

    Radio Science is an opportunistic discipline in the sense that the communication link between a spacecraft and its supporting ground station can be used to probe the intervening media remotely. Radio science has recently expanded to greater, cooperative use of international assets. Mars Express and Venus Express are two such cooperative missions managed by the European Space Agency with broad international science participation supported by NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) and ESA's tracking network for deep space missions (ESTRAK). This paper provides an overview of the constraints, opportunities, and lessons learned from international cross support of radio science, and it explores techniques for potentially optimizing the resultant data sets.

  8. Results from VIRTIS on board Venus Express after the end of the mission operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.; VIRTIS Venus Express Team

    After more than 8 years since the orbit insertion, the Venus Express mission is now at its end of mission operations. VIRTIS aboard the Venus Express spacecraft has addressed a significant amount of scientific results from the surface up to the upper atmosphere, in terms of mapping, composition, structure and dynamics. The VIRTIS instrument consists of two channels: VIRTIS-M, an imaging spectrometer with moderate spectral resolution in the range from 0.25 to 5.2 mu m and VIRTIS-H, a high spectral resolution spectrometer in the range from 2 to 5 mu m co-aligned with the field of view of -M \\citep{Piccioni2007a,Drossart2007a}. The resolution of VIRTIS-M is 2 nm from 0.25 to 1 mu m, and 10 nm from 1 to 5.2 mu m. The resolution of VIRTIS-H is about 2 nm. The atmosphere above the clouds has been observed both on day and night sides, in solar reflection and thermal emission in nadir geometry \\citep{Ignatiev2009, Cottini2012, Peralta2012, Peralta2009}. Limb observations provided O2\\citep{Piccioni2009, Garcia2009a, Gerard2013, Migliorini2013a, Gerard2008, Gerard2009}, OH \\citep{Piccioni2008,Gerard2010,Soret2010,Soret2012}, NO \\citep{Garcia2009b}, CO2 \\citep{Drossart2007b,Lopez-Valverde2011} and CO \\citep{Gilli2009,Gilli2015,Gilli2011} emissions, through nightglow and fluorescence observations. Spectroscopy of the 4-5 mu m range gave access to the cloud structure in the 60-95 km altitude levels \\citep{Irwin2008a,Grassi2014, Grassi2008,Grassi2010,Luz2011}. The deeper atmospheric windows, limited by CO2 and H2O bands were accessible only in thermal emission on the night side. The sounded levels at 1.7 and 2.3 mu m were limited respectively to 30-20 km altitude \\citep{Barstow2012,Bezard2009,Marcq2008a,Satoh2009,Tsang2009, Tsang2010,Tsang2008,Wilson2008,Wilson2009}, while at shorter wavelengths (1.18, 1.10, 1.01, 0.9 and 0.85 mu m), the hot surface of Venus was seen through the scattering clouds \\citep{Mueller2009,Helbert2008,Arnold2008a,Smrekar2010,Mueller2012

  9. The Role of Different Parameters in the Pressurant Budget of Venus Express and its Dynamic Evolution during the Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valencia Bel, F.; Lang, M.

    2004-10-01

    An insufficient amount of pressurant gas in the propulsion system or a working temperature in the pressurant tank outside the qualification limits can cause a decrease in the performance of the thrusters or even the loss of the mission. This paper presents an engineering tool used able to compute the Pressurant budget of a mission and the effects of influencing parameters. The updated tool allows to also compute the temperature, pressure and mass evolution inside the pressurant tank during the various mission phases. The tool has been used to verify the calculations done by Astrium Stevenage for Mars Express and Venus Express [1]. The pressurant gas used for both cases was helium. The tool permits to use other combinations of pressurant gases and propellants for different propellant systems (monopropellant and bipropellant systems).

  10. Education and Public Outreach using Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pertzborn, Rosalyn A.; Limaye, S. S.; Pi, H. Y.

    2006-12-01

    Nearly two decades after NASA’s Magellan radar mission to Venus, its atmosphere and surface is being investigated with new instruments by the Venus Express spacecraft from orbit. It was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on 11 November 2005, and has been orbiting Venus since April 2006. This mission provides an opportunity to focus on comparative planetary meteorology for education and public outreach efforts. We present an inquiry-based approach for informal and formal learning audiences by comparing atmospheric states of Venus and Earth using data available from Earth weather satellites and Venus Express. In the context of a middle or a high school curriculum, the science themes of Venus Express mission provide many connections to the themes of the National Science Education Standards. For the general audiences, Venus presents many of its mysteries such as its super rotation in the form of a giant hemispheric vortex akin to a hurricane, its deep atmosphere with sulfuric acid clouds, and the huge greenhouse effect concepts that are familiar to many. More than a dozen US scientists are participating in the Venus Express mission with support from NASA.

  11. Investigation of planetary space weather effects at Venus observed by the ASPERA-4 particle analyzer and the magnetometer flying onboard of Venus Express Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vech, Daniel; Szego, Karoly; Opitz, Andrea; Fraenz, Markus

    2014-05-01

    In this study we identified several coronal mass-ejections (CME's) interacting with the induced magnetosphere of Venus during 2010 and 2011 using STEREO observations and ENLIL simulations. Our purpose is to analyze the response of the induced magnetosphere and the ionosphere to these extreme conditions based on measurements made by the ASPERA-4 and MAG instruments on Venus Express. The parameters of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) during these solar events are also discussed. Previously we investigated the effects of the May 2007 solar eruption on the induced magnetosphere of Venus in a poster publication (EPSC2013-266). During the analyzed solar event large scale rotation of the interplanetary magnetic field was observed and in the polar region, the altitude where planetary ions were present decreased compared to the average cases. Polarity reversal of the induced magnetosphere also took place, similar to the cases discussed by Edberg et. al (2011). Several CME's interacted with Venus in November 2011. One of the largest lifted off on 3rd November and reached Venus on 5th November. The solar wind parameters showed large variations: the velocity peaked over 900 km/s, and the magnitude of the IMF suddenly increased threefold. The magnetic field reached 240 nT inside the induced magnetosphere, which is extremely high compared to normal conditions. The heavy ion density measured by VEX peaked over 1000 1/cm3 providing clear evidence for ionosphere crossing. Due to the orbit parameters it is possible to investigate the magnetic structure in the tail. The other selected solar eruptions caused similar changes including the sudden increase in the solar wind velocity and magnitude of the magnetic field in the magnetic barrier but due to the different orbital parameters other regions of the induced magnetosphere were investigated as well. In conclusion the observed planetary space weather effects include that in the shocked solar wind we observed Increased velocity

  12. Europe Goes to the Venus - The Journey of Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabrega, J.; Schirmann, T.; McCoy, D.; Sivac, P.

    On 9th November 2005, a Russian Soyuz-Fregat launcher boosted Venus Express into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft reached its final destination 5 months later, on 11th April 2006, after a journey of 440 millions of kilometres in the solar system. It fired its main engine during 49 minutes and slowed down to be captured into orbit around the planet. A series of manoeuvres then led the spacecraft to its operational orbit, circling the poles with a period of 24h along a highly elliptical orbit, with an altitude between 250 km and 66,000 km. It has then undertaken the most comprehensive study ever of the Venusian atmosphere, over a period of at least 2 Venus sidereal days (486 days). Venus Express is the first European mission to Earth's twin, only two years after Mars Express, the first ESA mission to Mars. It was developed in less than 4 years from concept to launch, which also makes it the fastest ESA Science mission ever done. The global budget of the mission is 220 millions Euro, covering development of the spacecraft, launch and operations.

  13. Venus Express and Venus Climate Orbiter: An Opportunity for mutual occultations to investigate the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S.

    2003-04-01

    The Venus Express orbiter mission planned for launch in 2005 and the Japanese Planet C Orbiter Mission to Venus planned for launch in 2008 together provide an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the thermal structure of the atmosphere of Venus using the radio occultation technique. As currently planned, the Venus Ex-press will go into a polar orbit (˜18-24 hour period) and Planet C into a near equato-rial orbit (172^o inclination, ˜30 hour period). These orbits will provide many mu-tual occultations between the two satellites, and periodically, occultations with re-spect to the earth. The advantage of the mutual occultations is that the locations and the time-of-day for the occultation zone is not aliased by the celestial Venus-Earth geometry that results in a very biased sampling of latitudes and local times. A simi-lar approach is being considered for investigation of the Martian atmosphere through Mars Scout opportunity (Kursinski et al., 2003). Unfortunately, due to lack of coor-dination and foresight, the opportunity to use the Mars Global Surveyor and the Mars Odyssey orbiters for mutual occultations has been lost. The realization of this invaluable opportunity requires that the communication in-struments on the two orbiters be mutually compatible and capable of receiving and measuring the Doppler shift of the signal between the two orbiters. Further, it is likely that Venus Express will have completed its nominal mission by the time Planet C arrives at Venus, hence the transmitter on Venus Express will need to be left turned so that the atmospheric signature of the Doppler shift in its signal as received on Planet C orbiter can be analyzed to determine the thermal structure, with perhaps 100 m vertical resolution. Such a high vertical resolution has been demon-strated through mutual occultations between the GPS constellation and METSAT on earth (Kursinski et al., 1997). With the looming prospect of a third orbiter around Venus through NASA's Discovery

  14. Systems Analysis for a Venus Aerocapture Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, Mary Kae; Starr, Brett R.; Paulson, John W., Jr.; Kontinos, Dean A.; Chen, Y. K.; Laub, Bernard; Olejniczak, Joseph; Wright, Michael J.; Takashima, Naruhisa; Justus, Carl G.

    2006-01-01

    Previous high level analysis has indicated that significant mass savings may be possible for planetary science missions if aerocapture is employed to place a spacecraft in orbit. In 2001 the In-Space Propulsion program identified aerocapture as one of the top three propulsion technologies for planetary exploration but that higher fidelity analysis was required to verify the favorable results and to determine if any supporting technology gaps exist that would enable or enhance aerocapture missions. A series of three studies has been conducted to assess, from an overall system point of view, the merit of using aerocapture at Titan, Neptune and Venus. These were chosen as representative of a moon with an atmosphere, an outer giant gas planet and an inner planet. The Venus mission, based on desirable science from plans for Solar System Exploration and Principal Investigator proposals, to place a spacecraft in a 300km polar orbit was examined and the details of the study are presented in this paper.

  15. Venera-D -the future Russian mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, Ludmila; Zelenyi, Lev; Korablev, Oleg; Sanko, N. F.; Khartov, Victor V.; Vorontsov, Victor A.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Pichkhadze, Konstantin M.; Elkin, Konstantin S.; Voron, Victor V.

    Venus was actively studied by Soviet and US mission in 60-80-th years of the last century. The investigations carried out both from the orbit and in situ were highly successful. After a 15-years break in space research of Venus, the ESA Venus Express mission, launched in 2005, successfully continues its work on orbit around Venus. In 2010 the launch of the Japanese Climate Orbiter (Planeta-C) mission is planned. However, many questions concerning the structure, and evolu-tions of planet Venus, which are the key questions of comparative planetology, very essential for understanding the evolution of the terrestrial climate, cannot be solved by observations from an orbit. Now in Russia the new investigation phase of Venus begins: the mission Venera-D is included in the Russian Federal Space Program to be launched in 2016. This mission includes the lander, balloons, and the orbiter. The long living balloons are planned to be deployed at different heights, in the clouds and under the clouds. Scientific goals of the mission include: -investigation of structure, chemical composition of the atmosphere, including noble gases abundance and isotopic ratio, structure and chemistry of the clouds; -study of dynamics of the atmosphere, nature of the superrotation, radiative balance, nature of an enormous greenhouse effect; -study of structure, mineralogy and geochemistry of the surface, search for seismic and volcanic activity, the lightening, interaction of the atmosphere and the surface; -investigation of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and the escape rate; -study of the evolution of the atmosphere and the surface of Venus. The complex of experiments on the orbiter includes, among the others, several spectrometers in the spectral range from UV to MW, the mapping spectrometers and the plasma package. On the lander there are instruments to work during the descent, and on the surface: gas-chromatograph, PTW (meteo), nephelometer and the particle sizes spectrometer

  16. Experimental Aerobraking with Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, Hakan

    2013-10-01

    Venus Express has successfully orbited Venus in its polar 24 hour, 250km by 66000 km, orbit since April 2006 and has provided a wealth of new data from our sister planet. Approaching the end of the mission we are now planning an experimental campaign dedicated to aerobraking at altitudes down to as low as about 130km. These low pericentre passes will provide direct measurements of density, temperature, magnetic field and energetic particles in a region not accessible by other methods. Experience of operations and studies of spacecraft responses will be valuable knowledge for possible future missions that might need this techniques as a part of its nominal operations. Aerobraking was considered in the early design phase of the mission but it was fairly soon realised that the nominal mission would not need this. However, a few important design features were maintained in order to allow for this in case it should be needed at a later stage. The inherently stable geometry of the spacecraft configuration and the inclusion of a software mode for aerobraking are the two most important elements from this early design phase. An recent study by industry has determined the constraints for the spacecraft and identified several potential scenarios. The present highly elliptical orbit has as one of its inherent features a downward drift of the pericentre altitude of between 1 and 4 km/day. However, at certain times, when the Sun is in the orbital plane, this drift disappears for a period of up to two weeks. This is a very well suited time to carry out these initial experiments as it is makes operations safer and it reduces the heat input on the spacecraft as the solar panels will be edge-on towards the sun during the aerobraking. Already a number of low altitude operations have been carried out during the so called atmospheric drag campaigns. The spacecraft has then dipped down to altitudes as low as 165 km and a good characterisation of this region has been performed. This

  17. Coordinated HST, Venus Express, and Venus Climate Orbiter Observations of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessup, Kandis

    2010-09-01

    Currently, there is an unprecedented opportunity to observe the atmosphere of Venus. The Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter {VCO} mission, successfully launched on May 21, 2010, will be observing Venus simultaneously with Venus Express {VEx} Mission from December 2010 onward. A campaign for Earth-based observations coincident with the arrival of VCO at Venus is currently under-way. Fortuitously, the window for observing Venus with HST at a solar elongation greater than 45 degrees is December 25, 2010, thru January 28, 2011. Thus, we are applying to use HST/STIS during that time to observe Venus upper cloud deck {65-75 km} in the ultraviolet {200-600 nm} at high spectral {0.3-0.6 nm} and spatial {40-60 km/pixel} resolution using the G230LB {0.17-0.31 microns} and G430L {0.30-0.57 microns} gratings, with the 52x0.1 slit and the CCD detector. By observing Venus with the slit in its nominal 45 degree orientation, we will map, as a function of latitude, longitude, and time of day, variations in the spatial distribution of the SO2, SO and S2 gases, which absorb strongly between 200 and 320 nm, and an un-identified ultraviolet {UV} absorber known to absorb strongly above 320 nm. Because the spatial distribution of all of the UV absorbers {named and un-named} is tied to the motion of the upper cloud, VCO plans to image the spatial distribution of the UV absorbers and their relationship with the cloud structure and the wind field, in order to derive the wind vectors at the cloud top {Rossow et al., 1990}. However, neither VEx nor VCO has the capability to obtain high spectral and spatial resolution spectroscopy of Venus upper clouds at 200-600 nm. The proposed HST observations will characterize and quantify the absorbers responsible for the cloud features recorded in the UV {200-600 nm} images to be obtained by the VCO/UVI and VEx/VIRTIS instruments, mapping the spatial distribution of these UV absorbers as function of the zonal cloud motion. Additionally, photodissociation of

  18. Communications Transceivers for Venus Surface Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Force, Dale A.

    2004-01-01

    The high temperature of the surface of Venus poses many difficulties. Previous Venus landers have only operated for short durations before succumbing to the heat. NASA Glenn Research Center conducted a study on communications for long duration Venus surface missions. I report the findings in this presentation. Current technology allows production of communications transceivers that can operate on the surface of Venus, at temperatures above 450 C and pressures of over 90 atmospheres. While these transceivers would have to be relatively simple, without much of the advanced signal processing often used in modern transceivers, since current and near future integrated circuits cannot operate at such high temperatures, the transceivers will be able to meet the requirements of proposed Venus Surface mission. The communication bands of interest are High Frequency or Very High Frequency (HFNHF) for communication between Venus surface and airborne probes (including surface to surface and air to air), and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) to Microwave bands for communication to orbiters. For HFNHF, transceivers could use existing vacuum tube technology. The packaging of the vacuum tubes may need modification, but the internal operating structure already operates at high temperatures. Using metal vacuum structures instead of glass, allows operation at high pressure. Wide bandgap transistors and diodes may be able to replace some of the thermionic components. VHF communications would be useful for line-of- sight operations, while HF would be useful for short-wave type communications using the Venusian ionosphere. UHF and microwave communications use magnetically focused thermionic devices, such as traveling wave tubes (TWTs), magnetron (M-type) amplifiers, and klystrons for high power amplifiers, and backward wave oscillators (BWOs) and reflex klystrons for oscillators. Permanent magnets are already in use in industry that can operate at 500 C. These magnets could focus electron beam

  19. Densities and temperatures in the Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere retrieved from SOIR on board Venus Express: Carbon dioxide measurements at the Venus terminator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahieux, A.; Vandaele, A. C.; Robert, S.; Wilquet, V.; Drummond, R.; Montmessin, F.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2012-07-01

    SOIR is a high-resolution spectrometer flying on board the ESA Venus Express mission. It performs solar occultations of the Venus high atmosphere, and so defines unique vertical profiles of many of the Venus key species. In this paper, we focus on the Venus main constituent, carbon dioxide. We explain how the temperature, the total density, and the total pressure are derived from the observed CO2 density vertical profiles. A striking permanent temperature minimum at 125 km is observed. The data set is processed in order to obtain a Venus Atmosphere from SOIR measurements at the Terminator (VAST) compilation for different latitude regions and extending from 70 up to 170 km in altitude. The results are compared to many literature results obtained from ground-based observations, previous missions, and the Venus Express mission. The homopause altitude is also determined.

  20. Magnetotellurics at Venus: What Venus Express and Pioneer Venus Tell Us about the Possibility of Electromagnetic Sounding of the Venus Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, Christopher T.; Zhang, Tielong L.; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; Luhmann, Janet G.; Villarreal, Michaela; Chi, Peter J.

    2016-04-01

    In late 2014, the Venus Express mission was allowed to drop its periapsis altitude into the Venus atmosphere, sufficiently low to penetrate below the maximum electron density of the ionosphere into the neutral atmosphere below. In this paper, we examine the observations in this region and assess if such observations could be used to sound the interior electrical conductivity of Venus. We conclude that the fluctuating field would only be useful for sounding with landers on the surface. However, it might be possible to sound the core using the draped magnetic field, an essentially static signature.

  1. Venus Express set for launch to the cryptic planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-10-01

    heading east. This injection is done by the first burn of the Fregat engine, due to take place at 06:52 CEST (04:52 GMT). At 08:03 CEST, about one hour and twenty minutes after lift-off and after an almost full circle around Earth, the third phase starts. While flying over Africa, Fregat will ignite for a second time to escape Earth orbit and head into the hyperbolic trajectory that will bring the spacecraft to Venus. After this burn, Fregat will gently release Venus Express, by firing a separation mechanism. With this last step, the launcher will have concluded its task. Plenty of ground activities for a successful trip Once separated from Fregat at 08:21 CEST, Venus Express will be awoken from its dormant status by a series of automatic on-board commands, such as the activation of its propulsion and thermal control systems, the deployment of solar arrays and manoeuvres to ‘orient’ itself in space. From this moment the spacecraft comes under the control of ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) for the full duration of the mission. The flight control team co-ordinate and manage a network of ESA ground stations and antennas around the globe, to regularly communicate with the spacecraft. The New Norcia station in Australia and the Kourou station in French Guiana will in turn communicate with Venus Express in the initial phase of the mission. The first opportunity to receive a signal and confirm that the spacecraft is in good health will be the privilege of the New Norcia station about two hours after launch. In this early phase of the mission, once ESOC has taken full control of the satellite, the spacecraft will be fully activated. Operations will also include two burns of the Venus Express thrusters, to correct any possible error in the trajectory after separation from Fregat. On 28 October, the newly inaugurated Cebreros station in Spain, with its 35-metre antenna, will start to take an active part in ground network operations to relay information between

  2. Life after Venus Express: Science goals for a European Venus radar orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colin; Ghail, Richard

    ESA’s Venus Express mission has led to a renaissance of Venus science, following a dearth of Venus missions in the previous 15 years. Venus Express has made many discoveries in atmospheric science, for which its payload was optimised; however it has also provided tantalising hints about the geological activity of the planet. Mesospheric sulphur dioxide abundances vary by 1000% on decadal timescales, in a pattern which suggests episodic volcanic injections [Marcq et al. Nature Geosci 2013; Esposito, Science 1984]; anomalous emissivity near suggest volcanic hotspots implies geologically recent, as-yet-unweathered lava flows [Smrekar et al., Science 2010]; and recent results, if confirmed, show temporal evolution of thermal emission from some regions of the surface may be direct evidence of volcanic activity during the duration of the VEx mission [Shalygin et al., LPSC 2014]. While there are more results to be obtained yet from the Venus Express dataset, further investigation of these phenomena will require a new Venus mission. We therefore propose an orbiter mission focussed on characterising the geological activity of Venus. The key instrument would be a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Why a radar mission following NASA’s Magellan mission? Radar capabilities are vastly improved in the last 30 years and a modern radar would be capable of spatial resolution approaching two orders of magnitude better than that from Magellan; this enables a wide range of investigations, from detailed study of tectonic, volcanic and Aeolian features, to stratigraphy for better reconstruction of geological epochs. Interferometric SAR could also be used to study the centimetre-scale surface deformations due to current volcanic or tectonic activity. Constraints on interior structure can be obtained not only from improved gravity mapping (from spacecraft tracking) but also by studying the spin state of Venus from high-resolution radar measurements. The radar measurements will be

  3. Future Drag Measurements from Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, Gerald; Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo; Forbes, Jeffrey M.; Yelle, Roger; Bruinsma, Sean; Withers, Paul; Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; Theriot, Res. Assoc. Michael; Bougher, Stephen

    Beginning in July 2008 during the Venus Express Extended Mission, the European Space Agency will dramatically drop orbital periapsis from near 250km to near 180km above the Venus North Polar Region. This will allow orbital decay measurements of atmospheric densities to be made near the Venus North Pole by the VExADE (Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment) whose team leader is Ingo Mueller-Wodarg. VExADE consists of two parts VExADE-ODA (Orbital Drag Analysis from radio tracking data) and VExADE-ACC (Accelerometer in situ atmospheric density measurements). Previous orbital decay measurements of the Venus thermosphere were obtained by Pioneer Venus from the 1970's into the 1990's and from Magellan in the 1990's. The major difference is that the Venus Express will provide measurements in the North Polar Region on the day and night sides, while the earlier measurements were obtained primarily near the equator. The periapsis will drift upwards in altitude similar to the earlier spacecraft and then be commanded down to its lower original values. This cycle in altitude will allow estimates of vertical structure and thus thermospheric temperatures in addition to atmospheric densities. The periapsis may eventually be lowered even further so that accelerometers can more accurately obtain density measurements of the polar atmosphere as a function of altitude, latitude, longitude, local solar time, pressure, Ls, solar activity, and solar wind on each pass. Bias in accelerometer measurements will be determined and corrected for by accelerometer measurements obtained above the discernable atmosphere on each pass. The second experiment, VExADE-ACC, is similar to the accelerometer experiments aboard Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that carried similar accelerometers in orbit around Mars. The risk involved in the orbital decay and accelerometer measurements is minimal. We have not lost any spacecraft orbiting Venus or Mars due to unexpected

  4. NASA's Venus Science and Technology Definition Team: A Flagship Mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, Mark Alan; Senske, D. A.; Balint, T. S.; Campbell, B. A.; Chassefiere, E.; Colaprete, A.; Cutts, J. A.; Glaze, L.; Gorevan, S.; Grinspoon, D. H.; Hall, J.; Hartford, W.; Hashimoto, G. L.; Head, J. W.; Hunter, G.; Johnson, N.; Kiefer, W. S.; Kolawa, E. A.; Kremic, T.; Kwok, J.; Limaye, S. S.; Mackwell, S. J.; Marov, M. Y.; Ocampo, A.; Schubert, G.; Stofan, E. R.; Svedhem, H.; Titov, D. V.; Treiman, A. H.

    2008-09-01

    The Venus Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) was formed by NASA to look at science objectives, mission architecture, science investigations, and instrument payload for a Flagship-class mission to Venus. This $3-4B mission, to launch in the 2020-2025 timeframe, should revolutionize our understanding of how climate works on terrestrial planets, including the close relationship between volcanism, tectonism, the interior, and the atmosphere. It would also be capable of resolving the geologic history of Venus, including the existence and persistence of an ancient ocean. Achieving all these objectives will be necessary to understand the habitability of extrasolar terrestrial planets that should be detected in the next few years. The Venus STDT is comprised of scientists and engineers from the United States, the Russian Federation, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. The team began work in January 2008, gave an interim report at NASA headquarters in May, and will deliver a final report in December 2008. The Venus STDT will also produce a technology roadmap to identify crucial investments to meet the unique challenges of in situ Venus exploration. We will discuss the mission architecture and payload that have been designed to address the science objectives, and the methods we used. Most of the science objectives in the latest VEXAG white paper can be addressed by a Venus Flagship mission, and equally importantly, NASA can fly a large mission to another Earth-sized planet with the explicit intention of better understanding our own.

  5. Low-cost balloon missions to Mars and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerzhanovich, V.; Cutts, J.; Hall, J.

    2003-01-01

    The first successful flight demonstration of aerial deployment of Mars balloon prototypes in June 2002 and, earlier, of Venus balloon prototype deemed to be a turning point in the risk assessment of balloon missions.

  6. Reassessment of planetary protection requirements for Venus missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szostak, J.; Riemer, R.; Smith, D.; Rummel, J.

    In 2005 the US Space Studies Board SSB was asked by NASA to reexamine the planetary protection requirements for spacecraft missions to Venus In particular the SSB was tasked to 1 Assess the surface and atmospheric environments of Venus with respect to their ability to support the survival and growth of Earth-origin microbial contamination by future spacecraft missions and 2 Provide recommendations related to planetary protection issues associated with the return to Earth of samples from Venus The task group established by the SSB to address these issues assessed the known aspects of the present-day environment of Venus and the ability of Earth organisms to survive in the physical and chemical conditions found on the planet s surface or in the clouds in the planet s atmosphere As a result of its deliberations the task group found compelling evidence against there being significant dangers of forward or reverse biological contamination as a result of contact between a spacecraft and the surface of Venus or the clouds in the atmosphere of Venus regardless of the current unknowns The task group did however conclude that Venus is a body of interest relative to the process of chemical evolution and the origin of life As a result the task group endorses NASA s current policy of subjecting missions to Venus to the requirements imposed by planetary protection Category II rather than the less restrictive Category I recommended by COSPAR

  7. ESA's Venus Express to reach final destination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    First step: catching Venus To begin to explore our Earth’s hot and hazy sister planet, Venus Express must complete a critical first step, the most challenging one following launch. This involves a set of complex operations and manoeuvres that will inject the spacecraft into orbit. The Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) manoeuvre allows the spacecraft to reduce its speed relative to Venus, so that it can be captured by the planet’s gravitation. The manoeuvre is a critical one which must proceed at precisely the right place and time. The VOI phase officially started on 4 April and will not be completed until 13 April. It is split into three main sub-phases. The first consists in preparing or initialising the spacecraft for the actual capture manoeuvre so as to avoid the risk of the spacecraft going into safe mode, should parameters unrelated to VOI go off-range. The capture manoeuvre itself consists of a main-engine burn lasting about 50 minutes on the morning of 11 April starting at 09:17 (Central European Summer Time). This is the second main VOI sub-phase. The final sub-phase will be restoring all spacecraft functions, notably resuming communications with Earth and uplinking the commands to be executed during the preliminary ‘capture’ orbit. Orbital capture is controlled by an automatic sequence of predefined commands, uploaded to the spacecraft four days prior to VOI. This sequence is the minimum set needed to perform the main-engine burn. All spacecraft operations are controlled and commanded by the ground control team located at ESA’s European Spacecraft Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. Timeeline of major VOI events (some times subject to change) 4 Aprilacecraft transmitter connected to low gain antenna is switched on. During its interplanetary cruise and during the scientific part of the mission to come, Venus Express communicates with Earth by means of its two high gain antennas. However, during the orbit capture phase (11 April), these two

  8. Plasma in the near Venus tail: Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.; Zhang, T. L.; Woch, J.; Wei, Y.; Fedorov, A.; Barabash, S.; Lundin, R.

    2013-12-01

    Although Venus has no global intrinsic magnetic fields, it possesses a long magnetotail of induced origin. The topology of the tail is determined by the interplanetary magnetic field orientation. We present recent plasma and magnetic field observations in the near Venus tail (X≥-3RV) made by the Venus Express spacecraft. We show that ion acceleration in the Venus plasma sheet is produced by the slingshot effect of the draping magnetic field lines, though some features as differential streaming of different ion species point to the existence of other forces. We explain a bell shape of ion spectrograms while the spacecraft crosses the current sheet. The absence of a balance between the lobe magnetic pressure and thermal pressure of plasma in the plasma sheet indicates a dynamic rather than a static equilibrium in the Venus magnetotail. A strong asymmetry of the plasma sheet is controlled by the direction of the motional electric field in the upstream solar wind. In the hemisphere pointed in the direction of the motional electric field, the j×B force accelerates plasma tailward supplying the plasma sheet, while in the opposite hemisphere, the flow pattern occurs less regularly with smaller speeds but higher number densities.

  9. Venus Upper Atmosphere - Results from the Venus Express Aerobraking Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last year of operations Venus Express was conducting an experimental aerobraking campaign. The objectives were twofold; firstly, to exercise for the first time the techniques of orbit modification by aerobraking with a European spacecraft, in order to prepare for future scientific ESA missions, and secondly, to collect information on atmospheric density by direct measurements in an environment difficult to sample with other means. Several of the scientific instruments on board Venus Express measured gas abundances of various gasses, including CO2, up to an altitude of 130km, but no reliable measurements could be made of total density and no remote measurements could be done above this altitude. The on board accelerometers gave direct measurements of the deceleration which in turn is directly proportional to the local atmospheric density. This provided an excellent way to study both the total density profile throughout the orbital arc in the atmosphere and small scale density variations in the region of the pericentre. The spacecraft behaved perfectly well throughout the whole campaign and provided a wealth of data both on the atmosphere and on the response of the spacecraft to the harsh environment with strong heat loads and some dynamic stress. At the time of the campaign the pericentre was located near the terminator at about 75 degrees Northern latitude. The so called "walk-in" phase started at an altitude of 190 km on 17 May 2014 and the campaign ended on 11 July, after having reached a lowest altitude of 129.2 km. Subsequently, a series of orbit control manoeuvres lifted up the pericentre to 460 km altitude and the science activities were resumed after a thorough check-out of the spacecraft. We have detected a highly variable atmosphere, both on a day to day basis and within the individual pericentre passes. The duration of each pass was approximately 100 s and the maximum dynamic pressure achieved was more than 0.75 N/m2. The orbital period was

  10. Mapping Venus: Modeling the Magellan Mission.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Doug

    1997-01-01

    Provides details of an activity designed to help students understand the relationship between astronomy and geology. Applies concepts of space research and map-making technology to the construction of a topographic map of a simulated section of Venus. (DDR)

  11. Mission Architecture and Technology Options for a Flagship Class Venus In Situ Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Kwok, Johnny H.; Kolawa, Elizabeth A.; Cutts, James A.; Senske, David A.

    2008-01-01

    Venus, as part of the inner triad with Earth and Mars, represents an important exploration target if we want to learn more about solar system formation and evolution. Comparative planetology could also elucidate the differences between the past, present, and future of these three planets, and can help with the characterization of potential habitable zones in our solar system and, by extension, extrasolar systems. A long lived in situ Venus mission concept, called the Venus Mobile Explorer, was prominently featured in NASA's 2006 SSE Roadmap and supported in the community White Paper by the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG). Long-lived in situ missions are expected to belong to the largest (Flagship) mission class, which would require both enabling and enhancing technologies beside mission architecture options. Furthermore, extreme environment mitigation technologies for Venus are considered long lead development items and are expected to require technology development through a dedicated program. To better understand programmatic and technology needs and the motivating science behind them, in this fiscal year (FY08) NASA is funding a Venus Flaghip class mission study, based on key science and technology drivers identified by a NASA appointed Venus Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT). These mission drivers are then assembled around a suitable mission architecture to further refine technology and cost elements. In this paper we will discuss the connection between the final mission architecture and the connected technology drivers from this NASA funded study, which - if funded - could enable a future Flagship class Venus mission and potentially drive a proposed Venus technology development program.

  12. A conceptual venus rover mission using advanced radioisotope power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    The primary goal of this study is to examine the feasibility of using the novel Advanced RPS-driven Stirling thermoacoustic system to enable extended science operations in the extremely hostile surface environment of Venus. The mission concept entails landing a rover onto the Venus surface, conducting science measurements in different areas on the surface, and returning the science data to Earth. The study focused on developing a rover design to satisfy the science goals with the capability to operate for 60 days. This mission life influences several design parameters, including Earth elevation angle and the maximum communications range to Earth.

  13. Combustion-based power source for Venus surface missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Timothy F.; Paul, Michael V.; Oleson, Steven R.

    2016-10-01

    The National Research Council has identified in situ exploration of Venus as an important mission for the coming decade of NASA's exploration of our solar system (Squyers, 2013 [1]). Heavy cloud cover makes the use of solar photovoltaics extremely problematic for power generation for Venus surface missions. In this paper, we propose a class of planetary exploration missions (for use on Venus and elsewhere) in solar-deprived situations where photovoltaics cannot be used, batteries do not provide sufficient specific energy and mission duration, and nuclear systems may be too costly or complex to justify or simply unavailable. Metal-fueled, combustion-based powerplants have been demonstrated for application in the terrestrial undersea environment. Modified or extended versions of the undersea-based systems may be appropriate for these sunless missions. We describe systems carrying lithium fuel and sulfur-hexafluoride oxidizer that have the potential for many days of operation in the sunless craters of the moon. On Venus a system level specific energy of 240 to 370 We-hr/kg should be possible if the oxidizer is brought from earth. By using either lithium or a magnesium-based alloy fuel, it may be possible to operate a similar system with CO2 derived directly from the Venus atmosphere, thus providing an estimated system specific energy of 1100 We+PV-hr/kg (the subscript refers to both electrical and mechanical power), thereby providing mission durations that enable useful scientific investigation. The results of an analysis performed by the NASA Glenn COMPASS team describe a mission operating at 2.3 kWe+PV for 5 days (120 h), with less than 260 kg power/energy system mass total. This lander would be of a size and cost suitable for a New Frontiers class of mission.

  14. A Few Highlights from Venus Monitoring Camera on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markiewicz, Wojciech J.; Titov, D.; Keller, H.; Moissl, R.; Limaye, S.; Ignatiev, N.; Jaumann, R.; Michalik, H.; Thomas, N.

    2008-09-01

    Venus is completely covered by a thick cloud layer whose upper part is composed of sulfuric acid and some unknown aerosols(1). The cloud tops are in fast retrograde rotation (super-rotation), but what is driving this super-rotation is unknown(2). Here we report observations of Venus with the Venus Monitoring Camera3 (VMC) on board the Venus Express spacecraft. Taking advantage of the VMC high resolution imaging and the polar orbit we investigate both global and small scale properties of these clouds, their temporal and latitudinal variations, and derive wind velocities. The Southern polar region is highly variable and can change dramatically on time scales as short as one day, perhaps arising from the injection of SO2 into the mesosphere. The convective cells in the vicinity of the sub-solar point are much smaller than previously inferred(4,5,6), which we interpret as indicating that they are confined to the upper cloud layer, contrary to previous conclusions(7,8), but consistent with more recent study(9). We will also report on surface observations with VMC. (1) Esposito, L.W. et al., in Venus, pp. 484-564, 1983, (2) Limaye, S. S., 2007, J. Geophys. Res., 112, 2007, (3) Markiewicz, W.J. et al., Planet. Space Sci., 55, 1701-1711, 2007, (4) Murray, B.C., et al., Science 183, 1307-1315 (1974), (5) Rossow, W.B. et al., J. Geophys. Res. 85, 8107-8128, 1980, (6) Covey, C.C. and G. Schubert, Nature, 290, 17-20, 1981, (7) Baker II, R.D. and G. Schubert, Nature, 355, 710-712, 1992, (8) Belton, M.J.S. et al., J. Atmos. Sci.. 33, 1394-1417, 1976, (9) Baker, R.D., G. Schubert, and P.W. Jones, J. Geophy. Res., 104, Issue E2, p. 3815-3832, 1999.

  15. The Venus Neutral Atmosphere from the Radio Science Experiment VeRa on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tellmann, S.; Haeusler, B.; Paetzold, M.; Bird, M. K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2008-12-01

    The Venus Express Radio Science Experiment VeRa is sounding the Venus neutral atmosphere and ionosphere using the spacecraft radio subsystem in the oneway radio link mode at X-band (8.4 GHz) and S- band (2.3 GHz). An Ultrastable Oscillator (USO) provides a high quality onboard frequency reference source for the derivation of electron density profiles in the ionosphere and profiles of pressure, temperature and neutral number density of the neutral atmosphere. Radial profiles of neutral number density derived from the occultations cover the altitude range 40 to 90 km, which are converted to vertical profiles of temperature and pressure. The polar orbit of Venus Express provides the opportunity to study the atmosphere at all planetocentric latitudes under varying illumination conditions. Five occultation seasons could be covered so far during the Venus Express mission resulting in a data set of more than 150 profiles of the neutral atmosphere. The thermal structure is investigated with regard to the latitudinal and temporal variability. A distinct cold collar region could be observed on both hemispheres. The tropopause altitude increases in this latitude region while the tropopause temperature shows a strong decrease. Profiles of static stability are found to be latitude-dependent and nearly adiabatic in the middle cloud region.

  16. Dynamics of the Venus upper atmosphere: Outstanding problems and new constraints expected from Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougher, S. W.; Rafkin, S.; Drossart, P.

    2006-11-01

    A consistent picture of the dynamics of the Venus upper atmosphere from ˜90 to 200 km has begun to emerge [e.g., Bougher, S.W., Alexander, M.J., Mayr, H.G., 1997. Upper Atmosphere Dynamics: Global Circulation and Gravity Waves. Venus II, CH. 2.4. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 259-292; Lellouch, E., Clancy, T., Crisp, D., Kliore, A., Titov, D., Bougher, S.W., 1997. Monitoring of Mesospheric Structure and Dynamics. Venus II, CH. 3.1. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 295-324]. The large-scale circulation of the Venus upper atmosphere (upper mesosphere and thermosphere) can be decomposed into two distinct flow patterns: (1) a relatively stable subsolar-to-antisolar (SS-AS) circulation cell driven by solar heating, and (2) a highly variable retrograde superrotating zonal (RSZ) flow. Wave-like perturbations have also been observed. However, the processes responsible for maintaining (and driving variations in) these SS-AS and RSZ winds are not well understood. Variations in winds are thought to result from gravity wave breaking and subsequent momentum and energy deposition in the upper atmosphere [Alexander, M.J., 1992. A mechanism for the Venus thermospheric superrotation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 19, 2207-2210; Zhang, S., Bougher, S.W., Alexander, M.J., 1996. The impact of gravity waves on the Venus thermosphere and O2 IR nightglow. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 23195-23205]. However, existing data sets are limited in their spatial and temporal coverage, thereby restricting our understanding of these changing circulation patterns. One of the major goals of the Venus Express (VEX) mission is focused upon increasing our understanding of the circulation and dynamical processes of the Venus atmosphere up to the exobase [Titov, D.V., Lellouch, E., Taylor, F.W., 2001. Venus Express: Response to ESA's call for ideas for the re-use of the Mars Express platform. Proposal to European Space Agency, 1-74]. Several VEX instruments are slated to obtain remote measurements

  17. Nuclear Electric Propulsion Application: RASC Mission Robotic Exploration of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2004-01-01

    The following paper documents the mission and systems analysis portion of a study in which Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) is used as the in-space transportation system to send a series of robotic rovers and atmospheric science airplanes to Venus in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. As part of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program, this mission analysis is meant to identify future technologies and their application to far reaching NASA missions. The NEP systems and mission analysis is based largely on current technology state of the art assumptions. This study looks specifically at the performance of the NEP transfer stage when sending a series of different payload package point design options to Venus orbit.

  18. Improved calibration of SOIR/Venus Express spectra.

    PubMed

    Vandaele, Ann Carine; Mahieux, Arnaud; Robert, Séverine; Berkenbosch, Sophie; Clairquin, Roland; Drummond, Rachel; Letocart, Vincent; Neefs, Eddy; Ristic, Bojan; Wilquet, Valérie; Colomer, Frédéric; Belyaev, Denis; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    2013-09-09

    The SOIR instrument on board the ESA Venus Express mission has been operational since the insertion of the satellite around Venus in April 2006. Since then, it has delivered high quality IR solar occultation spectra of the atmosphere of Venus. The different steps from raw spectra to archived data are described and explained in detail here. These consist of corrections for the dark current and for the non-linearity of the detector; removing bad pixels, as well as deriving noise. The spectral calibration procedure is described, along with all ancillary data necessary for the understanding and interpretation of the SOIR data. These include the full characterization of the AOTF filter, one of the major elements of the instrument. All these data can be found in the ESA PSA archive.

  19. Coordinated Hubble Space Telescope and Venus Express Observations of Venus' upper cloud deck

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessup, Kandis Lea; Marcq, Emmanuel; Mills, Franklin; Mahieux, Arnaud; Limaye, Sanjay; Wilson, Colin; Allen, Mark; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Roman, Tony; Vandaele, Ann-Carine; Wilquet, Valerie; Yung, Yuk

    2015-09-01

    Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (HST/STIS) UV observations of Venus' upper cloud tops were obtained between 20N and 40S latitude on December 28, 2010; January 22, 2011 and January 27, 2011 in coordination with the Venus Express (VEx) mission. The high spectral (0.27 nm) and spatial (40-60 km/pixel) resolution HST/STIS data provide the first direct and simultaneous record of the latitude and local time distribution of Venus' 70-80 km SO and SO2 (SOx) gas density on Venus' morning quadrant. These data were obtained simultaneously with (a) VEx/SOIR occultation and/or ground-based James Clerk Maxwell Telescope sub-mm observations that record respectively, Venus' near-terminator SO2 and dayside SOx vertical profiles between ∼75 and 100 km; and (b) 0.36 μm VEx/VMC images of Venus' cloud-tops. Updating the (Marcq, E. et al. [2011]. Icarus 211, 58-69) radiative transfer model SO2 gas column densities of ∼2-10 μm-atm and ∼0.4-1.8 μm-atm are retrieved from the December 2010 and January 2011 HST observations, respectively on Venus' dayside (i.e., at solar zenith angles (SZA) < 60°); SO gas column densities of 0.1-0.11 μm-atm, 0.03-0.31 μm-atm and 0.01-0.13 μm-atm are also retrieved from the respective December 28, 2010, January 22, 2011 and January 27, 2011 HST observations. A decline in the observed low-latitude 0.24 and 0.36 μm cloud top brightness paralleled the declining SOx gas densities. On December 28, 2010 SO2 VMR values ∼280-290 ppb are retrieved between 74 and 81 km from the HST and SOIR data obtained near Venus' morning terminator (at SZAs equal to 70° and 90°, respectively); these values are 10× higher than the HST-retrieved January 2011 near terminator values. Thus, the cloud top SO2 gas abundance declined at all local times between the three HST observing dates. On all dates the average dayside SO2/SO ratio inferred from HST between 70 and 80 km is higher than that inferred from the sub-mm the JCMT data above 84 km confirming that

  20. Results from Four Years of Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svedhem, Hakan; Titov, D.; Taylor, F.

    2010-10-01

    Since arriving at Venus in April 2006 Venus Express has provided a wealth of information on a large variety of topics on the atmosphere, surface and plasma environment of the planet. The atmosphere in the southern hemisphere has been studied in detail by three instruments dedicated to atmospheric investigations, from the near IR to the UV and additional information has been derived from radio science measurements. The structure and composition of the atmosphere has been mapped in three dimensions from 40 km to 140 km altitude. Significant temporal and spatial variations have been found, both in composition, density and temperature. Imaging in the UV has revealed strong latitudinal variations and significant temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology as well as identification of various types of waves in the cloud layer. The cloud top altitude varies from about 72 km in the low and middle latitudes to about 64 km in the polar region, marking vast polar depressions, likely a result of the Hadley-type meridional circulation. A large amount of data on the atmospheric circulation has been collected and results include maps of wind speeds at different altitudes and movies of the dynamics of the southern polar vortex. A surface temperature map and an emissivity map of the full southern hemisphere have been constructed from IR images in the spectral windows. By correlating these results and the Magellan radar images and gravity data, regions of young unweathered surfaces likely due to recent volcanism have been identified. The induced magnetosphere with its boundaries and the escape of planetary matter have been characterized by a magnetometer and an energetic particle instrument, and escape rates of hydrogen, oxygen and helium have been determined.A decision to extend the mission until end 2014 is expected at the end of this year.

  1. Venus Express en route to probe the planet's hidden mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-11-01

    reduced to once daily. If needed, trajectory correction manoeuvres can go ahead at the half-way stage in January. When making its closest approach, Venus Express will face far tougher conditions than those encountered by Mars Express on nearing the Red Planet. For while Venus's size is indeed similar to that of the Earth, its mass is 7.6 times that of Mars, with gravitational attraction to match. To resist this greater gravitational pull, the spacecraft will have to ignite its main engine for 53 minutes in order to achieve 1.3 km/second deceleration and place itself into a highly elliptical orbit around the planet. Most of its 570 kg of propellant will be used for this manoeuvre. A second engine firing will be necessary in order to reach final operational orbit: a polar elliptical orbit with 12-hour crossings. This will enable the probe to make approaches to within 250 km of the planet's surface and withdraw to distances of up to 66 000 km, so as to carry out close-up observations and also get an overall perspective. Exploring other planets to better understand planet Earth "The launch of Venus Express is a further illustration of Europe's determination to study the various bodies in our solar system", stressed Professor David Southwood, the Director of ESA's science programmes. "We started in 2003 with the launch of Mars Express to the Red Planet and Smart-1 to the Moon and both these missions have amply exceeded our expectations. Venus Express marks a further step forward, with a view to eventually rounding off our initial overview of our immediate planetary neighbours with the BepiColombo mission to Mercury to be launched in 2013." "With Venus Express, we fully intend to demonstrate yet again that studying the planets is of vital importance for life here on Earth", said Jean Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General. "To understand climate change on Earth and all the contributing factors, we cannot make do with solely observing our own planet. We need to decipher the

  2. Rotation period of Venus estimated from Venus Express VIRTIS images and Magellan altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N. T.; Helbert, J.; Erard, S.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2012-02-01

    The 1.02 μm wavelength thermal emission of the nightside of Venus is strongly anti-correlated to the elevation of the surface. The VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express has mapped this emission and therefore gives evidence for the orientation of Venus between 2006 and 2008. The Magellan mission provided a global altimetry data set recorded between 1990 and 1992. Comparison of these two data sets reveals a deviation in longitude indicating that the rotation of the planet is not fully described by the orientation model recommended by the IAU. This deviation is sufficiently large to affect estimates of surface emissivity from infrared imaging. A revised period of rotation of Venus of 243.023 ± 0.002 d aligns the two data sets. This period of rotation agrees with pre-Magellan estimates but is significantly different from the commonly accepted value of 243.0185 ± 0.0001 d estimated from Magellan radar images. It is possible that this discrepancy stems from a length of day variation with the value of 243.023 ± 0.002 d representing the average of the rotation period over 16 years.

  3. A Venus Atmosphere Sample Return Mission Concept: Feasibility and Technology Requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibata, E.; Lu, Y.; Pradeepkumar, A.; Cutts, J. A.; Saikia, S. J.

    2017-02-01

    Although Venus is similar in size to Earth, their atmospheres are completely different. This study will look at past Venus sample return missions, and revisit them with modern technology, as well as propose an additional sample return strategy.

  4. A Conceptual Venus Rover Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    This concept study demonstrates that a long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by a novel application of advanced RPS technology. General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules would be employed to drive an advanced thermoacoustic Stirling engine, pulse tube cooler and linear alternator that provides electric power and cooling for the rover. The Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) is a system for converting high-temperature heat into acoustic power which then drives linear alternators and a pulse tube cooler to provide both electric power and coolin6g for the rover. A small design team examined this mission concept focusing on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment. A rover design is described that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements on the Venus surface for 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A suite of science instruments is described that collects data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE at under 50 °C.

  5. Toroidal and poloidal magnetic fields at Venus. Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.; Woch, J.; Zhang, T. L.; Wei, Y.; Fedorov, A.; Barabash, S.; Lundin, R.

    2013-10-01

    Magnetic field and plasma measurements carried out onboard Venus Express during solar minimum conditions suggest the existence of two kinds of magnetic field configuration in the Venusian ionosphere. We interpret these as the manifestation of two different types of generation mechanisms for the induced magnetosphere. A different magnetic field topology (toroidal and poloidal) arises if the induced currents are driven either by the solar wind motional electric field or by the Faraday electric field—a conducting ionosphere sees the magnetic field carried by solar wind as a time-varying field. At the dayside, both driving agents produce a similar draping pattern of the magnetic field. However, different magnetic field signatures inherent to both induction mechanisms appear at lower altitudes in the terminator region. The conditions at low solar EUV flux when the ionosphere of Venus becomes magnetized seem to be favorable to distinguish between two different types of the induced fields. We present cases of both types of the magnetic field topology. The cases when the effects of the Faraday induction become well noticeable are especially interesting since they provide us with an example of solar wind interaction with a tiny induced dipole field immersed into the ionosphere. Another interesting case when poloidal magnetic fields are evidently displayed is observed when the IMF vector is almost aligned with the solar wind velocity. In general case, both mechanisms of induction probably complement each other.

  6. Composition and chemistry of the Venusian atmosphere after Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcq, Emmanuel

    The ESA/Venus Express orbiter mission is expected to end before the end of this year (2014), and time has come to summarize its results and examine how they changed our view of this planet. Venus Express instruments (especially the spectrometers VIRTIS and SPICAV/SOIR) have been addressing numerous scientific issues since 2006, among which remote sensing of many minor species from the lower troposphere up to the mesosphere at various latitudes and local solar time, often evidencing spatial or temporal variability. In preparation of a new synthesis of our current knowledge about Venusian atmospheric chemistry and composition to be included in the Venus III book (expected to be published in 2015), we shall present an overview of the most significant updates in this domain. A non-exhaustive list of the sub-topics we would like to address is; (1) Lower tropospheric measurements: Venus Express has been able to study in detail most of the thermal infrared windows, yielding extensive night side measurements of some key minor species (CO, OCS, H_2O, HDO, SO_2) (2) Profiles at an unparalleled vertical resolution of many minor species in the lower mesosphere thanks to stellar and solar occultation techniques. (3) Spatial and temporal variability of minor species at various scales, the most striking example being SO_2 above cloud top. (4) New theoretical understanding and modeling of the interplay between the various chemical cycles (carbon, sulfur, halogens) and the condensed phase particulate matter from the clouds and hazes, based on the newest available observational constraints from Venus Express and ground-based telescopes.

  7. Thermal structure of Venus night-side upper atmosphere from SPICAV/SOIR Venus Express occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccialli, Arianna; Mahieux, Arnaud; Belyaev, Denis; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Fedorova, Anna; Marcq, Emmanuel; Vandaele, Ann C.; Montmessin, Franck; Korablev, Oleg; Wilquet, Valérie

    Venus upper atmosphere (70-170 km altitude) is one of the most intriguing regions on the planet. It corresponds to a transition region characterized by a complex dynamics and circulation: strong retrograde zonal winds dominate the lower mesosphere while a solar-to-antisolar (SSA) circulation driven by a day-to-night temperature gradient can be observed in the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere (Schubert et al., 2007). CO_2 density and temperature profiles of Venus upper atmosphere have been measured from both ground-based (Clancy et al., 2012; Rengel et al., 2008; Sonnabend et al., 2012) and spacecraft missions (Taylor et al., 1980; Seiff et al., 1980; Zasova et al., 2007). The thermal structure of Venus upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere shows a significant variability both on day-to-day as well as longer timescales. More recently, a layer of warm air has been detected at altitudes of 90-120 km on the nightside both by SPICAV/SOIR (Bertaux et al., 2007; Mahieux et al., 2012) and by ground-based (Rengel et al., 2008) observations. The SPICAV/SOIR (Spectroscopy for the investigation of the characteristics of the atmosphere of Venus) instrument has been operating on board the ESA orbiting platform Venus Express since 2006. In the stellar occultation mode the ultraviolet channel provides CO_2 local density and temperature vertical profiles with a vertical resolution of < 7 km of both the Southern and the Northern hemispheres on the night side (6 pm to 6 am local time). A permanent warm area appears distinctly at the mesopause at about 90 - 100 km of altitude; the temperature then decreases with increasing altitude reaching a minimum value around 125 km. Spatial and temporal changes in the thermal structure have been analyzed. Local time variations dominate the structure of Venus atmosphere at these altitudes: temperatures show an increase of about 20 K on the morning side compared to the evening side. The homopause altitude is also determined; it varies between 119

  8. Venera-D: Russian mission for complex investigation of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korablev, O.; Zasova, L.; Perminov, V.; Ekonomov, A.; Basilevsky, A.; Gerasimov, M.; Linkin, V.; Rodin, A.; Skalsky, A.

    Russian Federal Space program for 2006-2015 includes a mission "Venera-D" for complex investigation of Venus. It is planned to be launched around 2016, by rocket Soyuz-2. According to preliminary investigation in Babakin Center mass of 1900 kg may be delivered to Venus. This mass may include orbiter, balloon(s), lander(s) with long living station on the surface of Venus. Scientific goals: investigation of structure, composition and dynamics of the atmosphere, structure and chemical composition of the clouds and nature of the hazes, investigation of the composition and properties of the surface, search for the volcanic activity, interaction between atmosphere and the surface, search for the electric and acoustic activity in the atmosphere, search for seismic activity, investigations of ionosphere and magnetosphere. A conception of the mission is under development now: new elements, like balloons, flying at different levels in the atmosphere may be down to 10 km altitude with landing and working on the surface, and descend module with long living station on the surface are considered. With existing electronics working at around 300C and corresponding insulation the life of station on the surface may be provided for a month We acknowledge IKI RAS for financial support, grant "Perspectiva"

  9. Venus Interior Structure Mission (VISM): Establishing a Seismic Network on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofan, E. R.; Saunders, R. S.; Senske, D.; Nock, K.; Tralli, D.; Lundgren, P.; Smrekar, S.; Banerdt, B.; Kaiser, W.; Dudenhoefer, J.

    1993-01-01

    Magellan radar data show the surface of Venus to contain a wide range of geologic features (large volcanoes, extensive rift valleys, etc.). Although networks of interconnecting zones of deformation are identified, a system of spreading ridges and subduction zones like those that dominate the tectonic style of the Earth do not appear to be present. In addition, the absence of a mantle low-viscosity zone suggests a strong link between mantle dynamics and the surface. As a natural follow-on to the Magellan mission, establishing a network of seismometers on Venus will provide detailed quantitative information on the large scale interior structure of the planet. When analyzed in conjunction with image, gravity, and topography information, these data will aid in constraining mechanisms that drive surface deformation.

  10. Science considerations for an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wychgram, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    A radar mapping mission to Venus is under consideration by NASA for the 1980s. The science objectives of the mission are to determine the geologic history of the planet; map the major topographic features and provide limited detailed geologic and terrain analysis of potential probe landing sites. Because of the thick Venusian atmosphere, a synthetic-aperture side-looking radar system has been selected as the most practical remote sensing instruments to use. Topographic data are the most useful for achieving the science goals of the mission. The radar system variables and mission parameters must be specified to maximize topographic data returns while being compatible with engineering and cost restraints. A baseline imaging resolution of 100 meters, with ability to obtain some higher-resolution coverage, is acceptable. Total planet coverage is desirable but the primary science objectives can be achieved if at least one entire hemisphere is imaged.

  11. Image processing and products for the Magellan mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Jerry; Alexander, Doug; Andres, Paul; Lewicki, Scott; Mcauley, Myche

    1992-01-01

    The Magellan mission to Venus is providing planetary scientists with massive amounts of new data about the surface geology of Venus. Digital image processing is an integral part of the ground data system that provides data products to the investigators. The mosaicking of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image data from the spacecraft is being performed at JPL's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL). MIPL hosts and supports the Image Data Processing Subsystem (IDPS), which was developed in a VAXcluster environment of hardware and software that includes optical disk jukeboxes and the TAE-VICAR (Transportable Applications Executive-Video Image Communication and Retrieval) system. The IDPS is being used by processing analysts of the Image Data Processing Team to produce the Magellan image data products. Various aspects of the image processing procedure are discussed.

  12. An Atmospheric Variability Model for Venus Aerobraking Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tolson, Robert T.; Prince, Jill L. H.; Konopliv, Alexander A.

    2013-01-01

    Aerobraking has proven to be an enabling technology for planetary missions to Mars and has been proposed to enable low cost missions to Venus. Aerobraking saves a significant amount of propulsion fuel mass by exploiting atmospheric drag to reduce the eccentricity of the initial orbit. The solar arrays have been used as the primary drag surface and only minor modifications have been made in the vehicle design to accommodate the relatively modest aerothermal loads. However, if atmospheric density is highly variable from orbit to orbit, the mission must either accept higher aerothermal risk, a slower pace for aerobraking, or a tighter corridor likely with increased propulsive cost. Hence, knowledge of atmospheric variability is of great interest for the design of aerobraking missions. The first planetary aerobraking was at Venus during the Magellan mission. After the primary Magellan science mission was completed, aerobraking was used to provide a more circular orbit to enhance gravity field recovery. Magellan aerobraking took place between local solar times of 1100 and 1800 hrs, and it was found that the Venusian atmospheric density during the aerobraking phase had less than 10% 1 sigma orbit to orbit variability. On the other hand, at some latitudes and seasons, Martian variability can be as high as 40% 1 sigmaFrom both the MGN and PVO mission it was known that the atmosphere, above aerobraking altitudes, showed greater variability at night, but this variability was never quantified in a systematic manner. This paper proposes a model for atmospheric variability that can be used for aerobraking mission design until more complete data sets become available.

  13. Water vapour, clouds, and the UV absorber near the cloud tops of Venus from VIRTIS and VMC / Venus Express data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ignatiev, N. I.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.; Cottini, V.; Markiewicz, W. J.

    2012-09-01

    Observations of the dayside of Venus with VIRTIS [1] and VMC [2] instruments on board Venus Express have been used to measure the cloud top altitude and water vapour abundance near this level and search for their possible correlation with the UV absorption. An extended analysis of these measurements by Cottini et al. [3] was limited by a northern hemisphere due to geometry of observations on first 1000 orbits of the mission. Further measurements significantly improve the latitudinal coverage and demonstrated symmetric behaviour of clouds and water vapour in both hemispheres.

  14. Venus surface investigation based on VIRTIS measurements on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, Gabriele; Haus, Rainer; Döhler, Wolfgang; Kappel, David; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    The dense atmosphere of Venus prevented systematic studies of its surface at optical wavelengths in the past. The discovery of near infrared nightside atmospheric windows has opened a new challenge for detailed surface studies. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express is the first experiment collecting continuously nightside surface emission data from the planet. The observed high variability of measured signatures is mainly due to spatial variations of cloud optical depth and surface elevation. The investigation of surface properties requires a convergent approach of radiative transfer simulations and VIR- TIS data analyses. Therefore, a selection of orbits with well calibrated data over the northern hemisphere was performed for footprints that cover a maximum range of surface elevation variations. Radiative transfer calculations demonstrate that the conservative character of cloud multiple scattering below 2 µm and a strong dependence of radiance ratios on surface elevation in this spectral region allow the mapping of surface topography and a retrieval of the surface temperature. To the first order, the surface temperature is a function of ground elevation. Small deviations from this first order dependence have been identified that are possibly due to different surface materials. 1 Institut f¨r Planetologie, Westf¨lische Wilhelms-Universit¨t M¨nster, Wilhelm-Klemm-Str.10, u a a u 48129 M¨nster, Germany u 2 German PlaceNameAerospace PlaceTypeCenter (DLR), Remote Sensing Technology Institute, Dpt. Marine Remote Sensing, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 CityplaceBerlin, countryregionGermany 3 German PlaceNameAerospace PlaceTypeCenter (DLR), Institute for Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 CityplaceBerlin, country-regionGermany 4 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Université Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, e 92195 Meudon, France 5 INAF-IASF (Instituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica), via

  15. Ballistic Mercury orbiter mission via Venus and Mercury gravity assists

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, C.-W. L.

    1986-01-01

    It is shown that it is possible to deliver a payload of 600 to 2000 kg to a 300-km circular orbit at Mercury using presently available NASA Space Transportation Systems and a single-stage bipropellant chemical rocket. This superior payload performance is attained by swingbys of Venus, plus (more importantly), the use of the reverse Delta-V/EGA process. In contrast to the Delta-V/EGA process (used to boost the launch energy by returning to earth for a gravity assist), the reverse Delta-V/EGA process reduces the Mercury approach energy each time a spacecraft makes a near-resonant return to Mercury for a gravity assist and reduces the orbit-capture Delta-V requirement. The mission sequences for such high-performance missions are described, and example mission opportunities for the years 1990 to 2010 are presented.

  16. Ballistic Mercury orbiter mission via Venus and Mercury gravity assists

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Chen-Wan Liu

    1989-01-01

    This paper shows that it is possible to deliver a payload of 600 to 2000 kg to a 300-km circular orbit at Mercury, using the presently available NASA STS and a single-stage bipropellant chemical rocket. This superior payload performance is attained by swingbys of Venus, plus more importantly, the use of the reverse Delta-V/EGA process. In contrast to the familiar Delta-V/EGA process used to boost the launch energy by returning to earth for a gravity assist, the reverse process reduces the Mercury approach energy each time a spacecraft makes a near-resonant return to Mercury for a gravity assist and reduces the orbit-capture Delta-V requirement. The mission sequences for such high-performance missions are described, and example mission opportunities for the years 1990 to 2010 are presented.

  17. The Ninevah Mission: A design summary for an unmanned mission to Venus, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The design summary for an unmanned mission to the planet Venus, with code name Ninevah, is presented. The design includes a Hohmann transfer trajectory analysis, propulsion trade study, an overview of the communication and instrumentation systems, power requirements, probe and lander analysis, and a weight and cost analysis.

  18. Tracking Clouds on Venus using Venus Express Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pertzborn, Rosalyn; Limaye, Sanjay; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Jasmin, Tommy; Udgaonkar, Nishant

    2014-05-01

    In the US, a growing emphasis has been placed on the development of inclusive and authentic educational experiences which promote active participation by the K-12 learning community as well as the general public in NASA's earth and space science research activities. In the face of growing national and international budgetary constraints which present major challenges across all scientific research organizations around the world, the need for scientific communities to dramatically improve strategies for effective public engagement experiences, demonstrating the relevance of earth and space science research contributions to the citizenry, have become paramount. This presentation will provide an introduction to the online Venus Express Cloud tracking applet, an overview of feedback from educational users based on classroom/pilot implementation efforts, as well as the concept's potential viability for the promotion of expanded public participation in the analysis of data in future planetary exploration and research activities, nationally and internationally. Acknowledgements: We wish to acknowledge the contributions of Mr. Nishant Udgaonkar, a summer intern with the S.N. Bose Scholars Program, sponsored by the Science and Engineering Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We also wish to acknowledge the Space Science and Engineering Center as well as NASA for supporting this project.

  19. Venus Express Contributions to the Study of Planetary Lightning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C. T.; Hart, R. A.; Zhang, T. L.

    2014-04-01

    Jupiter, and Saturn are expected to generate the electrical potential differences in their clouds sufficient to cause a breakdown in the atmosphere,creating a conducting path for the electric potential to discharge. This high-energy phenomenon creates a hot, high-pressure channel that enables chemical reactions not possible under usual local thermodynamic conditions. Thus it is of some interest to determine if lightning occurs in an atmosphere. While Venus is not usually considered one of the wet planets, lightning has been an object of interest since the Venera landers. It was observed with electromagnetic coils on Venera 11, 12, 13, 14 landers [2]. It was observed with a visible spectrometer on the Venera 9 orbits [1]. It was mapped during solar occultations by the electric antenna on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter [4]. These measurements revealed extensive lightning activity with an electromagnetic energy flux similar to that on Earth. However, the observations were limited in number in the atmosphere and to the nightside from orbit. In order to improve the understanding of Venus lightning, the Venus Express magnetometer was given a 128-Hz sampling rate that could cover much of the ELF frequencies at which lightning could be observed in the weak magnetic fields of the Venus ionosphere [5]. This investigation was immediately successful [3], but mastering the cleaning of the broadband data took several years to accomplish. Furthermore, the high polar latitudes of VEX periapsis were not the ideal locations to conduct the more global survey that was desired. Fortunately, after precessing poleward over the first few years the latitude of periapsis has returned to lower latitudes(Figures 1 and 2) and active electrical storms are now being studied. The charged constituent of the Venus atmosphere need not be water. In fact, we believe it is H2SO4 which polarizes much as water does and which freezes and melts at similar temperatures. If it is H2SO4, we would expect the

  20. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Solar Wind Interaction with Venus: A Dual Spacecraft Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Acuna, M. H.; Anderson, B. J.; Barabash, S.; Benna, M.; Boardsen, S. A.; Fraenz, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R. E.; Ho, G. C.; Korth, H.; Krimigis, S. M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Raines, J. M.; Sarantos, M.; Solomon, S. C.; Zhang, T.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2007-01-01

    At 23:08 UT on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude (338 krn) during its second flyby of Venus en route to its 201 1 orbit insertion at Mercury. Whereas no measurements were collected during MESSENGER'S first Venus flyby in October 2006, the Magnetometer (MAG) and the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) operated successfully throughout this second encounter. Venus provides the solar system's best example to date of a solar wind - ionosphere planetary interaction. Pioneer Venus Orbiter measurements have shown that this interaction affects the upper atmosphere and ionosphere down to altitudes of - 150 km. Here we present an initial overview of the MESSENGER observations during the - 4 hrs that the spacecraft spent within 10 planet radii of Venus and, together with Venus Express measurements, examine the influence of solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field conditions on the solar wind interaction at solar minimum.

  1. Power Conversion with a Stirling Cycle for Venus Surface Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellott, Ken

    2004-01-01

    The light-filtering characteristic of the dense, mostly-CO2 atmosphere of Venus, combined with the high atmospheric cloud cover, relegates the surface mission use of photovoltaic power systems and beckons for the independence and reliability of a nuclear-powered energy source. A multi-faceted Venus mission study was completed at NASA GRC in December of 2003 that resulted in the preliminary design of a helium- charged, kinematic Stirling converter, which is powered by nuclear, General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. The kinematic, Stirling power converter is configured to drive an electronics and sensor cooler in addition to a generator for electrical power. This paper briefly describes the design process and also describes and summarizes key features of the Stirling power converter preliminary design concept. With an estimated total efficiency of 23.4%, the power converter drives the electronics and sensor cooler, and also produces 100 watts of electricity. The converter rejects waste heat at a hot sink temperature of 500 C.

  2. International Planetary Science Interoperability: The Venus Express Interface Prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanford Bussard, Stephen; Chanover, N.; Huber, L.; Trejo, I.; Hughes, J. S.; Kelly, S.; Guinness, E.; Heather, D.; Salgado, J.; Osuna, P.

    2009-09-01

    NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) and ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA) have successfully demonstrated interoperability between planetary science data archives with the Venus Express (VEX) Interface prototype. Because VEX is an ESA mission, there is no memorandum of understanding to archive the data in the PDS. However, using a common communications protocol and common data standards, VEX mission science data ingested into the PSA can be accessed from a user interface at the Atmospheres Node of the PDS, making the science data accessible globally through two established planetary science data portals. The PSA makes scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions accessible to the worldwide scientific community. The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Mission data included in the archive aside from VEX include data from the Giotto, Mars Express, Smart-1, Huygens, and Rosetta spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations. All data are compatible to the Planetary Data System data standard. The PDS archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements. The PDS is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research. The architecture of the VEX prototype interface leverages components from both the PSA and PDS information system infrastructures, a user interface developed at the New Mexico State University, and the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP). The VEX Interoperability Project was a key project of the IPDA, whose objective is to ensure world-wide access to planetary data regardless of which agency collects and archives the data. A follow-on IPDA project will adapt the VEX Interoperability protocol for access in JAXA to the Venus Climate

  3. Exploring Venus with high-altitude balloons: Science objectives and mission architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baines, Kevin; Limaye, Sanjay; Zahnle, Kevin; Atreya, Sushil K.

    Following the trailblazing flights of the 1985 twin Soviet VEGA balloons, missions to fly in the high atmosphere of Venus near 55 km altitude have been proposed to both NASA's Discovery Program and ESA's Cosmic Vision. Such missions would address a variety of fundamental science issues highlighted in a variety of high-level NASA-authorized science documents in recent years, including the Decadal Study, various NASA roadmaps, and recommendations coming out of the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG). Such missions would in particular address key questions of Venus's origin, evolution, and current state, including detailed measurements of (1) trace gases associated with Venus's active photoand thermo-chemistry and (2) measurements of vertical motions and local temperature which characterize convective and wave processes. As an example of what can be done with a small mission (less than 500M US dollars), the Venus Aerostatic-Lift Observatories for in-situ Research (VALOR) Discovery mission will be discussed. This mission would fly twin balloon-borne aerostats over temperate and polar latitudes, sampling rare gases, chemicals and dynamics in two distinct latitude regions for several days. A variety of scenarios for the origin, formation, and evolution of Venus would be tested by sampling all the noble gases and their isotopes, especially the heaviest elements never reliably measured previously: xenon and krypton. Riding the gravity and planetary waves of Venus, the VALOR balloons would sample the chemistry, meteorology and dynamics of Venus's sulfur-cloud region. Tracked by an array of Earth-based telescopes, zonal, meridional, and vertical winds would be measured with unprecedented precision. Such measurements would help to develop a fundamental understanding of (1) the circulation of Venus, especially its enigmatic super-rotation, (2) the nature of Venus's sulfur cycle, key to Venus's current climate, and (3) how Venus formed and evolved over the aeons.

  4. Investigation of air temperature on the nightside of Venus derived from VIRTIS-H on board Venus-Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Grassi, D.; Montabone, L.; Lebonnois, S.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.

    2012-02-01

    We present the spatial distribution of air temperature on Venus' night side, as observed by the high spectral resolution channel of VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer), or VIRTIS-H, on board the ESA mission Venus Express. The present work extends the investigation of the average thermal fields in the northern hemisphere of Venus, by including the VIRTIS-H data. We show results in the pressure range of 100-4 mbar, which corresponds to the altitude range of 65-80 km. With these new retrievals, we are able to compare the thermal structure of the Venus' mesosphere in both hemispheres. The major thermal features reported in previous investigations, i.e. the cold collar at about 65-70°S latitude, 100 mbar pressure level, and the asymmetry between the evening and morning sides, are confirmed here. By comparing the temperatures retrieved by the VIRTIS spectrometer in the North and South we find that similarities exist between the two hemispheres. Solar thermal tides are clearly visible in the average temperature fields. To interpret the thermal tide signals (otherwise impossible without day site observations), we apply model simulations using the Venus global circulation model Venus GCM (Lebonnois, S., Hourdin, F., Forget, F., Eymet, V., Fournier, R. [2010b]. International Venus Conference, Aussois, 20-26 June 2010) of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD). We suggest that the signal detected at about 60-70° latitude and pressure of 100 mbar is a diurnal component, while those located at equatorial latitudes are semi-diurnal. Other tide-related features are clearly identified in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

  5. Climate change on Venus and future spacecraft mission priorities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, M.; Grinspoon, D.

    Weathering of surface minerals in the sulfur-rich lower atmosphere of Venus may well have played a significant role in the recent evolution of the planet's climate. SO 2 in the atmosphere is interesting because it is the primary precursor of Venus' bright H 2SO 4 /H 2O clouds, it is a greenhouse gas, it is most likely outgassed by volcanoes [Prinn, 1985], it probably reacts with the surface, and it is apparently much higher in abundance that would be expected from thermochemical equilibrium with the surface [Fegley and Treiman, 1992] (although interpretations of Vega 1 and 2 UV spectrometer data challenge the latter, see Bertaux et al., [1996]). Changes in the atmospheric abundance of SO 2 would be accompanied by alterations in the optical properties of the clouds and in the greenhouse effect, thereby affecting surface temperatures [Bullock and Grinspoon, 2001]. Fegley and Prinn , [1989] demonstrated e perimentally that the reaction CaCO3 +x SO 2 ==> CaSO 4 + CO proceeds rapidly under Venus-like conditions, and concluded that SO 2 and hence the H 2 SO 4 /H 2O clouds would disappear in 1.9 My unless SO 2 in the atmosphere were continually replenished by volcanic outgassing. Using a coupled chemical kinetic reaction-diffusion and climate model, [ Bullock and Grinspoon, 2001] calculated that volcanism must supply SO 2 to the atmosphere on approximately 30 My timescales in order to maintain clouds with their current optical properties. Clues to the nature of the recent Venus climate may be obtained by elucidating the sensitivity of cloud properties to changes in a mospheric SO 2 andt H 2O and by investigations into the styles and depths of chemical weathering at the surface. Future robotic spacecraft missions have the pot ential to provide significant insights into recent climate change on Venus and on the role that sulfur may have played. Among the most important and scientifically valuable investigations are: 1. High spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution near

  6. Temporal variations of UV reflectivity of Venus observed by the Venus Monitoring Camera onboard Venus Express.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yeon Joo; Imamura, Takeshi; Schroder, Stefan

    The UV channel of the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard Venus Express (VEX) detects dark and bright features at the cloud top level all over the globe. This UV contrast is affected by the abundance of an unknown UV absorber, which is located within the upper cloud layer, and the upper haze above the cloud tops (Pollack et al.,1979; Esposito, 1980). The unknown UV absorber is a major sink of solar energy in the Venus middle atmosphere (Crisp, 1986). The upper haze and clouds take part in sulfur photochemical processes in the Venus mesosphere (Mills et al., 2007). At the cloud top altitude the zonal wind speed is highest, resulting in changes in cloud morphology in a few days. Therefore, the features shown in the UV images are diagnostic for atmospheric dynamics and chemistry. By analyzing VMC UV images, we found there is a clear decreasing trend of the global mean albedo by 20-30% over 2000 orbits (=2000 Earth days) of VEX operation. This decrease is driven by changes at high latitudes. This implies that the typical latitudinal albedo distribution, bright polar hood and dark equatorial region, varies over time. The latitudinal difference in albedo changes from a clear brightness gradient from pole to equator to an almost identical brightness in both regions. Interestingly, this temporal variation is similar to that of the SO2 abundance above the cloud tops, observed in the same period (Marcq et al., 2013). This suggests a reduction of SO2 over the equator decreases the amount of upper haze at high latitudes, as less sulfur is supplied by the meridional circulation. We investigate the phase angle dependence of the latitudinal albedo difference, which reveals that the vertical distribution of the UV absorbers and the upper haze varies in time as well. Our results show large scale variations in Venusian atmospheric dynamics near the cloud tops, represented by temporal changes in the amount of upper haze at high latitudes and/or in the vertical distribution of the

  7. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Solar Wind Interaction with Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Acuna, Mario H.; Anderson, Brian J.; Barabash, Stas; Benna, Mehdi; Boardsen, Scott A.; Fraenz, Markus; Gloeckler, George; Gold, Robert E.; Ho,George C.; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McNutt, Ralph L., Jr.; Raines, Jim M.; Sarantos, Menelaos; Solomon, Sean C.; Zhang, Tielong; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.

    2009-01-01

    At 23:08 UTC on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude of 338 kin during its final flyby of Venus en route to its 2011 orbit insertion at Mercury. The availability of the simultaneous Venus Express solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field measurements provides a rare opportunity to examine the influence of upstream conditions on this planet's solar wind interaction. We present MESSENGER observations of new features of the Venus - solar wind interaction including hot flow anomalies upstream of the bow shock, a flux rope in the near-tail and a two-point determination of the timescale for magnetic flux transport through this induced magnetosphere. Citation: Stavin, J. A., et al. (2009), MESSENGER and Venus Express observations of the solar wind interaction with Venus,

  8. The Structure of the Venus Neutral Atmosphere from the Radio Science Experiment VeRa on Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tellmann, S. A.; Häusler, B.; Pätzold, M.; Bird, M. K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2007-12-01

    The Venus Express Radio Science Experiment VeRa is sounding the Venus neutral atmosphere and ionosphere using the spacecraft radio subsystem in the oneway radio link mode. An Ultrastable Oscillator (USO) provides a high quality onboard frequency reference source for the derivation of electron density profiles in the ionosphere and profiles of pressure, temperature and neutral number density of the neutral atmosphere. The measurement configuration allows an altitude resolution of only a few hundred metres from the cloud deck at about 40 km to approximately 100 km. Three occultation seasons could be covered in the first two years of the Venus Express mission resulting in a data set of about 140 profiles of the neutral atmosphere. The polar orbit of Venus Express provides the opportunity to study the atmosphere at all planetocentric latitudes under varying illumination conditions. Special attention will be given to day-night variations of the thermal structure and the temperature distribution at high polar latitudes on both hemispheres ("cold collar region") and signal absorption effects caused by the H2SO4 vapour.

  9. Mariner Venus-Mercury 1973 project. Volume 2: Extended mission-Mercury 2 and 3 encounters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 mission operations Extended Mission is described. The activities are summarized from shortly after Mercury I through the end of mission. The operational activities are reported by Mission Operations Systems functions providing a brief summary from each discipline. Based on these experiences recommendations for future projects are made.

  10. Interplanetary mission design handbook. Volume 1, part 1: Earth to Venus ballistic mission opportunities, 1991-2005

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sergeyevsky, A. B.; Yin, N. H.

    1983-01-01

    Graphical data necessary for the preliminary design of ballistic missions to Venus is presented. Contours of launch energy requirements, as well as many other launch and arrival parameters, are presented in launch data/arrival date space for all launch opportunities from 1991 through 2005. An extensive text is included which explains mission design methods, from launch window development to Venus probe and orbiter arrival design, utilizing the graphical data in this volume as well as numerous equations relating various parameters.

  11. The Scientific Exploration of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Fredric W.

    2014-12-01

    Part I. Views of Venus, from the Beginning to the Present Day: 1. The dawn of Venus exploration; 2. Mariner and Venera; 3. Pioneer Venus and Vega: orbiters, balloons and multi-probes; 4. Images of the surface; 5. The forgotten world; 6. Earth-based astronomy delivers a breakthrough; 7. Can't stop now; 8. Europe and Japan join in: Venus Express and Akatsuki; Part II. The Motivation to Continue the Quest: 9. Origin and evolution: the solid planet; 10. Atmosphere and ocean; 11. A volcanic world; 12. The mysterious clouds; 13. Superwinds and polar vortices; 14. The climate on Venus, past, present and future; 15. Could there be life on Venus?; Part III. Plans and Visions for the Future: 16. Solar system exploration; 17. Coming soon to a planet near you: planned Venus missions; 18. Towards the horizon: advanced technology; 19. Beyond the horizon: human expeditions; Epilogue; Appendix A. Chronology of space missions to Venus; Appendix B. Data about Venus.

  12. Progress towards a post-Venus Express Clouds & Haze reference model for Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcq, Emmanuel; Belyaev, Denis; Wilson, Colin; Wilquet, Valérie; Luginin, Mikhail

    2016-07-01

    With the end of Venus Express in 2014, the focus of the scientific community has gradually moved from the study of Venus Express mono-instrumental data sets to cross-instrumental studies involving pure modelization as well. This is especially true for the clouds and hazes that surround most of the planet between 48 and 70 km. They play a major role at the crossroads of various atmospheric processes among which the radiative budget as well as the dynamical and chemical coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere. In order to support such efforts, ISSI has supported from 2013 to 2015 a "Clouds & Hazes of Venus" scientific team involving Venus Express and ground-based observers as well as microphysical modelers. Together, they compared their results in order to achieve a more unified and consistent view of Venus' clouds and hazes, taking into account its spatial and temporal variability more in detail than previously available VIRA-1 and 2 cloud models. We will review the individual data sets and models that have been used, and then present our strategy towards a unified cloud model. We will first make available some observable parameters to the wider community through a web-based repository. Our future steps will involve more advanced techniques (data assimilation) in order to achieve our objective of a unified Venus clouds & haze model that encompasses its various variabilities as well as possible.

  13. Ionospheric Modulation of Venus Express Lightning Detection Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Richard A.; Russell, Christopher T.; Zhang, Tielong

    2015-11-01

    Venus Express completed its nearly 9 year campaign at Earth’s sister planet in late 2014. During this period the onboard fluxgate magnetometer collected data up to 64 Hz in frequency while near periapsis. This is the expected frequency range for lightning-generated whistler-mode waves at Venus, between the local electron and ion gyrofrequencies. These waves are right-hand circularly polarized and are guided by the local magnetic field. When the Venusian ionopause is low enough in altitude to reside in the collisional region, the interplanetary magnetic field can get carried down with the ions and magnetize the lower ionosphere. As the field travels towards the terminator it gains a radial component, enabling whistlers to reach higher altitudes and be detected by the spacecraft. The mission covered almost an entire solar cycle and frequently observed a magnetized ionosphere during the solar minimum phase when the ionosphere was weak due to reduced incident EUV. Detection was most common at 250 km altitude where the waves travel more slowly due to reduced ionospheric density. In response they increase in amplitude in order to conserve magnetic energy flux. Here, we examine the changes in the ionospheric properties associated with the evolution of the solar cycle and the rate of detection of these lightning-generated signals.

  14. Venus Express Measurement of ULF and ELF Signals in the Venus Ionosphere: Evidence for Extensive Electrical Activity in the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, R.; Russell, C. T.; Leinweber, H.; Zhang, T.

    2013-05-01

    Even though the surface of Venus is currently very dry, the atmosphere has extensive cloud cover. These clouds contain sulfuric acid particles that have properties sufficiently similar to water-ice that they would be expected to become charged, as in terrestrial clouds. Also the nitric oxide content of the Venus atmosphere, which is formed by lightning on Earth is similar to the terrestrial values. Thus it is not surprising that numerous manifestations of lightning on Venus have been reported. In this paper we use the Venus Express magnetic measurements to extend our understanding of Venus lightning. The gradiometer magnetometer configuration installed on Venus Express allows the cleaning of the data up to 6 KHz. We exploit these data in the second year of operation to add statistics to our existing data base. We show how ULF and ELF signals appear to reach the spacecraft via different paths but could have the same physical cause: electrical discharges in the Venus ionosphere.

  15. Water vapor near Venus cloud tops from VIRTIS-H/Venus express observations 2006-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cottini, V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2015-08-01

    This work aims to give a summary of the water vapor at the cloud top of Venus atmosphere using the complete set of observations made using high spectral resolution channel (-H) of Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS), on board the ESA Venus Express orbiter, to measure the cloud top altitude and the water vapor abundance near this level. An initial analysis of these measurements by Cottini et al. (2012) was limited to data in 140 orbits in the period 2007-2008. These observations were limited to the Northern hemisphere due to observational geometry in this early part of the mission. In the present paper, the analysis is extended to a larger dataset covering the years 2006-2011, significantly improving the latitudinal coverage. Altitude of the cloud tops, corresponding to unit optical depth at a wavelength of 2.5 μm, is equal to 69±1 km at low latitudes, and decreases toward the pole to 62-64 km. The water vapor abundance is equal to 3±1 ppm in low latitudes and it increases reaching a maximum of 5±2 ppm at 70-80° of latitude in both hemispheres, with a sharp drop in the polar regions. This can be explained by the specific dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus affecting the distribution of water vapor such as the transfer of water vapor in the Hadley cell and the dynamic in the polar vortex. The average height of the cloud tops and the H2O near this level are symmetric with respect to the equator. As a function of local solar time, the water vapor shows no particular dependence, and the cloud tops exhibit just a weak maximum around noon. Over 5 years of observations the average values of the cloud top altitude and the water vapor were quite stable in low and middle latitudes, while in high latitudes both quantities in 2009-2011 years are systematically higher than in 2006-2008. Short period variations increasing with latitude are observed, from approximately less than ±1 km for cloud tops and ±1 ppm for water vapor in low latitudes to

  16. Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegley, B., Jr.

    Venus is Earth's nearest planetary neighbor and has fascinated mankind since the dawn of history. Venus' clouds reflect most of the sunlight shining on the planet and make it the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. Venus is visible with the naked eye as an evening star until a few hours after sunset or as a morning star shortly before sunrise. Many ancient civilizations observed and worshipped Venus, which had a different name in each society, for example, Ishtar to the Babylonians, Aphrodite to the Greeks, Tai'pei to the Chinese, and Venus to the Romans. Venus has continued to play an important role in myth, literature, and science throughout history.

  17. Venus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Paula; Stofan, Ellen

    2004-01-01

    On 8 June 2004 Venus will pass in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth. Many people will watch the small dark dot cross the solar disk, but will they stop to think about Venus as a real place? In this article we discuss what we know about Venus, what it looks like from orbit, what you might see if you were on the surface and future plans for…

  18. Requirements and capabilities for planetary missions. Venus orbiter imaging radar 1983, volume 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindt, D. H.; Ball, G. G.; Bird, T. H.

    1976-01-01

    Two spacecraft will be launched in mid-1983 and inserted into a circular polar orbit around Venus about 6 months later. Elliptical orbits are also under consideration. The objective of the mission is imagery of the planet, at about the 200-m resolution level, with continuous altimetry and topographical studies. Science investigations will determine surface characteristics of the planet, study the surface/atmosphere interactions, and determine Venus' mass distribution. A plausible vehicle is based on a Mariner Jupiter/Saturn derivative; others being considered include a Lunar Polar Orbiter derivative and a Pioneer Venus Orbiter derivative.

  19. An orbital radar mapper of Venus in the 1980's - Mission design and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asnin, S. K.

    1973-01-01

    A reasonable approach to the examination of Venus topography, obscured for photographic imaging, is available in the application of airborne radar mapping systems to an orbiter mission about the planet. Extrapolating the improving capabilities of earth-based radar study of Venus into the 1980's suggests that only a non-uniform, poorly resolved surface profile will be possible relative to the potential for 100% coverage at 100 meter resolution with an orbital radar. The intent of this paper is to define mission opportunities favorable for a Venus orbital mapper during the 1980's, to examine orbit design problem associated with mapping radar systems, to establish what flexibility exists for an adaptive mapping strategy, to contribute to the sizing of particular spacecraft systems, to suggest a reference mission design and demonstrate mission feasibility.

  20. Ballistic mode Mercury orbiter mission opportunity handbook extension. [interplanetary trajectories for Venus swingbys to Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbeck, G. R.; Lewis, P. S.; Rockenbach, P. C.

    1974-01-01

    Interplanetary trajectory characteristics are presented, for Venus swingbys to Mercury, where multiple revolutions about the Sun are permitted. Additional consideration is given to the use of multiple Venus swingbys and/or to midcourse, near perilhelion, propulsive maneuvers to improve the performance of the mission as measured in terms of payload in Mercury orbit. Missions in 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1988 were analyzed with navigation results also developed. An exploratory investigation established the availability of low energy mission opportunities in 1991, 1994, 1996 and 1999.

  1. PC-403: Pioneer Venus multiprobe spacecraft mission operational characteristics document, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, F. C.

    1978-01-01

    The data handling subsystem, command subsystem, communications subsystem, power subsystem, and mission operations of the Pioneer Venus multiprobe are presented. The multiprobe spacecraft performance in normal operating modes that correspond to the performance of specific functions at the time of specific events in the mission is described.

  2. Pioneer Venus: Report of a study by the Science Steering Group, June 1972. [concerning 1976, 77, 78 and 80 missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The 1976/77 multiple probe mission of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft is discussed, along with the 1978 and 1980 missions. Various questions about Venus are answered; velocities and temperatures expected in the atmosphere, atmospheric chemistry, magnetic measurements, and model atmospheres are included.

  3. Navigation Support at JPL for the JAXA Akatsuki (PLANET-C) Venus Orbiter Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryne, Mark S.; Mottinger, Neil A.; Broschart, Stephen B.; You, Tung-Han; Higa, Earl; Helfrich, Cliff; Berry, David

    2011-01-01

    This paper details the orbit determination activities undertaken at JPL in support of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Akatsuki (a.k.a. Plan-et-C and/or Venus Climate Orbiter) mission. The JPL navigation team's role was to provide independent navigation support as a point of comparison with the JAXA generated orbit determination solutions. Topics covered include a mis-sion and spacecraft overview, dynamic forces modeling, cruise and approach or-bit determination results, and the international teaming arrangement. Significant discussion is dedicated to the events surrounding recovery from the unsuccessful Venus orbit insertion maneuver.

  4. Retrieval of Venus' clouds parameters with polarization using SPICAV-IR onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Loïc; Marcq, Emmanuel; Montmessin, Franck; Fedorova, Anna; Stam, Daphne; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Korablev, Oleg

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the structure and dynamics of Venus' clouds is essential as they have a strong impact on the radiative balance and atmospheric chemistry of the planet. Polarimetry has greatly contributed to our knwoledge about the properties of the cloud layers located between 48 and ~ 70 km. Hansen and Hovenier (1974), using ground-based observations, found the cloud particles to be ~ 1μm spherical droplets, with a refractive index corresponding to a concentrated sulfuric acid-water solution. Later, Kawabata et al. (1980), using polarimetric data from OCPP onboard Pioneer Venus retrieved the properties of the haze: effective radius of ~ 0.25μm, refractive indices consistent with a sulfuric acid-water solution, variance of the particle size distribution. We introduce here new measurements obtained with the SPICAV-IR spectrometer onboard ESA's Venus Express. Observing Venus in the visible and IR from 650 nm to 1625 nm with a good spatial and temporal converage, SPICAV's sensitivity to the degree of linear polarization gives us an opportunity to put better constraints on haze and cloud particles at Venus cloud top, as well as their spatial and temporal variability. These observations reveal a particular feature called glory, observed by SPICAV-IR and VMC (Markiewicz et al. 2014). Using a radiative transfer code taking into account polarization (de Haan et al. 1987, de Rooij et al. 1984, Stam et al. 1999), we model the cloud layers and the glory allowing us to retrieve the real part of the refractive index, the effective radius and variance of the particle size distribution from the main cloud layer. Our results confirm that the particles are spherical, with a narrow size distribution and with refractive indices that are compatible with H2SO4-H2O solutions (Rossi et al. 2014). Using the large latitudinal coverage of the data, we can also retrieve the variation of the overlying haze layer optical thickness. We find that τh is increasing with increasing latitude, in

  5. Gravity waves study from the nighglow emissions in the Venus upper atmosphere observed by VIRTIS-Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, Alessandra; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Zasova, Ludmila; Shakun, Alexey; Altieri, Francesca; Bellucci, Giancarlo

    The O _{2} nightglow emissions in the infrared spectral range are important features to investigate dynamics at the mesospheric altitudes, in the Venus atmosphere. We analyzed the profiles obtained at limb by the VIRTIS spectrometer on board the Venus Express mission, acquired during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15. Several profiles present double peaked structures that can be interpreted as due to gravity waves. In analogy to the Earth’s and Mars cases, we use a well-known theory to model the O _{2} nightglow emissions affected by gravity waves propagation, in order to support this thesis and derive the waves properties. In the present work, we discus the gravity waves characteristics, namely vertical wavelength and wave amplitude, with respect to local time and latitude. The method is applied to about 30 profiles showing double peaked structures. On average, the double peaked profiles are compatible with the effects of gravity waves with a vertical wavelength ranging between 7 and 16 km, and wave amplitude of 3-14%. A comparison with gravity waves properties in the Mars and Earth’s atmospheres, using the same theory, is also proposed.

  6. Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegley, B., Jr.

    2003-12-01

    Venus is Earth's nearest planetary neighbor, and has fascinated mankind since the dawn of history. Venus' clouds reflect most of the sunlight shining on the planet and make it the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. Venus is visible with the naked eye as an evening star until a few hours after sunset, or as a morning star shortly before sunrise. Many ancient civilizations observed and worshipped Venus, which had a different name in each society, e.g., Ishtar to the Babylonians, Aphrodite to the Greeks, Tai'pei to the Chinese, and Venus to the Romans (Hunt and Moore, 1982). Venus has continued to play an important role in myth, literature, and science throughout history. In the early seventeenth century, Galileo's observations of the phases of Venus showed that the geocentric (Ptolemaic) model of the solar system was wrong and that the heliocentric (Copernican) model was correct. About a century later, Edmund Halley proposed that the distance from the Earth to the Sun (which was then unknown and is defined as one astronomical unit, AU) could be measured by observing transits of Venus across the Sun. These transits occur in pairs separated by eight years at intervals of 105.5 yr and 121.5 yr in an overall cycle of 243 yr, e.g., June 6, 1761, June 3, 1769; December 9, 1874, December 6, 1882, June 8, 2004, June 6, 2012, December 11, 2117, and December 8, 2125. The first attempted measurements of the astronomical unit during the 1761 transit were unsuccessful. However, several observers reported a halo around Venus as it entered and exited the Sun's disk. Thomas Bergman in Uppsala and Mikhail Lomonosov in St. Petersburg, independently speculated that the halo was due to an atmosphere on Venus. Eight years later observations of the 1769 solar transit (including those made by Captain Cook's expedition to Tahiti) gave a value of 1 AU=153 million kilometers, ~2.3% larger than the actual size (149.6 million kilometers) of the astronomical unit (Woolf, 1959

  7. O+ pickup ions outside of Venus' bow shock: Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yong; Fraenz, Markus; Dubinin, Eduard; Zhang, Tielong; Jarvinen, Riku; Wan, Weixing; Kallio, Esa; Collinson, Glyn; Barabash, Stars; Norbert, Krupp; Woch, Joachim; Lundin, Rickard; delva, Magda

    2013-04-01

    Pickup ions are ions of planetary origin that become assimilated into the solar wind flow through their interaction with the solar wind magnetic and electric field. The speed of pickup ions varies between zero and twice the underlying plasma flow component perpendicular to magnetic field vector. For the unmagnetized planet Venus and Mars, oxygen (O+) pickup ions are known to be important because they can modify the global configuration of planetary plasma environment and significantly contribute to the atmospheric O+ loss [1]. Since the kinetic energy of an O+ pickup ion can reach 64 times that of a co-moving proton, an instrument must be able to measure O+ ions with energy of at least tens of keV to investigate the O+ pickup ion distribution from planetary ionosphere to solar wind. The in-situ observations and simulations at Mars have shown that the energy of O+ pickup ions can be 55-72 keV outside of the bow shock [2]. For Venus case, the plasma analyzer (OPA) onboard Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO), which was designed for solar wind monitoring, has an 8 keV energy limit for O+ detection and the limited sampling and data rate [3]. Therefore, OPA can only measure the O+ pickup ions in the sheath flow or inside the induced magnetosphere where the speed of ambient plasma flow is significantly lower than that of the unshocked solar wind outside of the bow shock. In addition, Galileo also did not capture O+ outside bowshock during its 1-hour Venus flyby though its plasma instrument had ability to cover the energy band of O+ pickup ions [4]. The Ion Mass Analyzer (IMA), included in the Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) package on board Venus Express (VEX), determines the composition, energy, and angular distribution of ions in the energy range ~10 eV/q to 30 keV/q. Note that an O+ ion moving at the typical solar wind speed 400 km/s has kinetic energy 13.4 keV. Therefore, IMA has ability to measure the O+ pickup ions outside of Venus' bow shock. We

  8. A Wind-powered Rover for a Low-Cost Venus Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benigno, Gina; Hoza, Kathleen; Motiwala, Samira; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Venus, with a surface temperature of 450 C and an atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than that of the Earth, is a difficult target for exploration. However, high-temperature electronics and power systems now being developed make it possible that future missions may be able to operate in the Venus environment. Powering such a rover within the scope of a Discovery class mission will be difficult, but harnessing Venus' surface winds provides a possible way to keep a powered rover small and light. This project scopes out the feasibility of a wind-powered rover for Venus surface missions. Two rover concepts, a land-sailing rover and a wind-turbine-powered rover, were considered. The turbine-powered rover design is selected as being a low-risk and low-cost strategy. Turbine detailed analysis and design shows that the turbine can meet mission requirements across the desired range of wind speeds by utilizing three constant voltage generators at fixed gear ratios.

  9. Magellan - Early results from the Venus mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1991-01-01

    Some results obtained with the Magellan Venus Radar Mapper are presented. Mapping was initiated on October 26, 1990 and has completed over 714 orbits of image data, covering 40 percent of the surface of Venus. Mapping began at 330 deg east longitude, mapping from the north pole to about 78 deg south latitude. Included are the regions of Ishtar Terra, Sedna, Guinevere and Lavinia Planitiae, and Lada Terra. Features discernable from the mapping include high and lowland plains, evidence of volcanic activity, and impact craters from 6 km to over 50 km across. Some Magellan scientific discoveries are listed, including evidence of a predominant role of ballistic volcanism, extensive and intensive tectonics, a moderate rate of volcanic and tectonic resurfacing, and a low rate of weathering and wind erosion. Other discoveries concerning techntonics, volcanism, impact cratering, and exogenous resurfacing are also listed. Magellan image coverage is discussed, and a chronology of the development of VOIR and Magellan is provided.

  10. Preliminary radar systems analysis for Venus orbiter missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandenburg, R. K.; Spadoni, D. J.

    1971-01-01

    A short, preliminary analysis is presented of the problems involved in mapping the surface of Venus with radar from an orbiting spacecraft. Two types of radar, the noncoherent sidelooking and the focused synthetic aperture systems, are sized to fulfill two assumed levels of Venus exploration. The two exploration levels, regional and local, assumed for this study are based on previous Astro Sciences work (Klopp 1969). The regional level is defined as 1 to 3 kilometer spatial and 0.5 to 1 km vertical resolution of 100 percent 0 of the planet's surface. The local level is defined as 100 to 200 meter spatial and 50-10 m vertical resolution of about 100 percent of the surfAce (based on the regional survey). A 10cm operating frequency was chosen for both radar systems in order to minimize the antenna size and maximize the apparent radar cross section of the surface.

  11. The Rationale for a New High-resolution Imaging Radar Mission to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, R. R.; Sharpton, V. L.; Gens, R.; Ghent, R. R.; Gilmore, M. S.; Grimm, R. E.; Johnson, C. L.; McGovern, P. J.; Meyer, F.; Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Plaut, J. J.; Sandwell, D. T.; Simons, M.; Solomon, S. C.

    2009-12-01

    Magellan, NASA’s last geoscience mission to Venus, provided synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images at ~100-m resolution, topography at ~10-km resolution, and the gravity field at ~300-km resolution. Although that mission provided a major advance in our understanding of the planet, basic questions about the geologic history of Venus remain unresolved. For example, hypotheses on the planet’s surface evolution range from uniformitarian to catastrophic, and assessments of current geologic activity range from earth-comparable levels of volcanic and tectonic activity to a surface shaped only by occasional impact and eolian processes. It is now feasible to send a mission to Venus that could provide SAR imaging at 1-5-m resolution; topography with tens-of-meters spatial resolution by utilizing interferometric SAR (InSAR) and stereo radargrammetry; and surface deformation at centimeter-scale vertical resolution through InSAR. Such a mission would substantially further our understanding of Venus by means of: (1) assessing the fundamental framework of the planet's geologic history (e.g., catastrophic change, slow evolution, uniformitarian) by imaging key stratigraphic contacts; (2) expanding the global framework of geomorphic unit types and relative stratigraphy with reconnaissance surveys of large geographic provinces; (3) directly detecting volcanic and tectonic activity through imaging of flows and fault-related activities (e.g., landslides) that occur between imaging passes; (4) monitoring present-day volcanic and tectonic activity with repeat-pass InSAR deformation studies; (5) constraining the nature of Venusian geologic volcanic and tectonic processes, and their relationship to mantle convective processes; (6) understanding the role of eolian processes in modifying the surface and the use of eolian features as stratigraphic markers (e.g., parabolic features) through detailed examination; (7) constraining Venusian impact processes, particularly the role of the

  12. Analysis of Venus Express optical extinction due to aerosols in the upper haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, C. D.; Bougher, S. W.; Schulte, R.; Gao, P.; Yung, Y. L.; Vandaele, A.; Wilquet, V.; Mahieux, A.; Tellmann, S.

    2013-12-01

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard the Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft have revealed that the upper haze (UH) of Venus, between 70 and 90 km, is variable on the order of days to weeks and that it is populated by two particle modes. Gao et al. (submitted, Icarus, 2013) posit that one mode is made up of cloud particles that have diffused upwards from the main sulfuric acid cloud deck below, while the other mode is generated in situ by nucleation of sulfuric acid droplets on meteoric dust. They also propose that the observed variability in the UH is caused in part by vertical transient winds. They test this hypothesis by simulating a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface using a model based upon the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres (CARMA). In this work, we significantly extend the analysis using the new more detailed SOIR/VeRa VEx temperature profiles which better constrain the observed strong CO2 15-micron cooling emission and 4.3-μm near-IR heating in Venus' atmosphere (and consistent with Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) simulations of Brecht et al. (2011)). We discuss our new results in context of the recent VEx observations (Wilquet et al., Icarus 217, 2012) with an intercomparison with the PVO data. We will also discuss similarities and differences arising from the PVO and VEx epochs where they exist. Additionally we report on our efforts self-consistently applying the VTGCM to constrain the degree to which effects due to vertical transient wind simulations can establish variability timescales and number density profiles that match VEx observations.

  13. First Results of Venus Express Spacecraft Observations with Wettzell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calves, Guifre Molera; Wagner, Jan; Neidhardt, Alexander; Kronschnabl, Gerhard; Ayucar, Miguel Perez; Cimo, Giuseppe; Pogrebenko, Sergei

    2010-01-01

    The ESA Venus Express spacecraft was observed at X-band with the Wettzell radio telescope in October-December 2009 in the framework of an assessment study of the possible contribution of the European VLBI Network to the upcoming ESA deep space missions. A major goal of these observations was to develop and test the scheduling, data capture, transfer, processing, and analysis pipeline. Recorded data were transferred from Wettzell to Metsahovi for processing, and the processed data were sent from Mets ahovi to JIVE for analysis. A turnover time of 24 hours from observations to analysis results was achieved. The high dynamic range of the detections allowed us to achieve a milliHz level of spectral resolution accuracy and to extract the phase of the spacecraft signal carrier line. Several physical parameters can be determined from these observational results with more observational data collected. Among other important results, the measured phase fluctuations of the carrier line at different time scales can be used to determine the influence of the solar wind plasma density fluctuations on the accuracy of the astrometric VLBI observations.

  14. High temperature, high intensity solar array. [for Venus Radar Mapper mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, B. S.; Brooks, G. R.; Pinkerton, R.

    1985-01-01

    The solar array for the Venus Radar Mapper mission will operate in the high temperature, high intensity conditions of a low Venus orbit environment. To fulfill the performance requirements in this environment at minimum cost and mass while maximizing power density and packing factor on the panel surface, several features were introduced into the design. These features included the use of optical surface reflectors (OSR's) to reduce the operating temperature; new adhesives for conductive bonding of OSR's to avoid electrostatic discharges; custom-designed large area cells and novel shunt diode circuit and panel power harness configurations.

  15. The Surface of Venus and Implications for its Geological and Geodynamical Evolution: The View Before Venus Express and Outstanding Questions for the Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W.; Ivanov, M. A.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    2008-12-01

    thickness variations and mantle convection patterns. The relationships of major elements of global topography and the sequence of events in the observed geological history (as recorded by major geologic units and structures) suggest that much of the current long-wavelength topography of Venus (tessera highlands and lowlands with regional plains) may have formed prior to emplacement of regional plains and been preserved since that time. These observations may favor evolutionary geodynamic models that are characterized by changes in geological style and rates, and may involve non-linear heat loss mechanisms that could have profound influence on the atmosphere. Although the observed surface of Venus dates from relatively recent planetary history, comparative planetology permits inferences to be made about the major stages in the earlier history of Venus. The evolution of the understanding of the surface from early speculations to present observations and interpretations provides an important context for: 1) establishing the relationships of the surface of Venus to the nature of the atmosphere and its evolution as assessed by Venus Express, 2) the comparison of the geological features and history of Venus relative to the Moon, Mars, Mercury and the Earth, and 3) defining the major outstanding problems and questions to be addressed by future experiments and missions to Venus.

  16. Venus, Mars, and the ices on Mercury and the moon: astrobiological implications and proposed mission designs.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Dohm, James M; Fairén, Alberto G; Baker, Victor R; Fink, Wolfgang; Strom, Robert G

    2005-12-01

    Venus and Mars likely had liquid water bodies on their surface early in the Solar System history. The surfaces of Venus and Mars are presently not a suitable habitat for life, but reservoirs of liquid water remain in the atmosphere of Venus and the subsurface of Mars, and with it also the possibility of microbial life. Microbial organisms may have adapted to live in these ecological niches by the evolutionary force of directional selection. Missions to our neighboring planets should therefore be planned to explore these potentially life-containing refuges and return samples for analysis. Sample return missions should also include ice samples from Mercury and the Moon, which may contain information about the biogenic material that catalyzed the early evolution of life on Earth (or elsewhere). To obtain such information, science-driven exploration is necessary through varying degrees of mission operation autonomy. A hierarchical mission design is envisioned that includes spaceborne (orbital), atmosphere (airborne), surface (mobile such as rover and stationary such as lander or sensor), and subsurface (e.g., ground-penetrating radar, drilling, etc.) agents working in concert to allow for sufficient mission safety and redundancy, to perform extensive and challenging reconnaissance, and to lead to a thorough search for evidence of life and habitability.

  17. Preliminary study of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for a Venus mission

    SciTech Connect

    Arp, Z. A.; Cremers, D. A.; Wiens, R. C.

    2004-01-01

    Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) has been proposed as a candidate analysis system for missions to Mars, asteroids, and recently Venus. This technique has several distinct advantages over other techniques which have been used on past missions (X-Ray fluorescence on Viking 1 and 2, 1976; APXS on Pathfiider, 1997; MER, 2004). Two of the more important advantages LIBS has over other techniques for a mission to Venus is rapid elemental analysis of both high and low Z value elements and stand-off analysis at distances of many meters. Rapid elemental analysis and stand-off analysis are very important to missions to Venus due to the harsh environment at the planet surface. From the Venera missions it is known that on the Venusian surface the pressures are approximately 9.1 MPa (90 atm) and the temperature is near 735 K. For these reasons, the Soviet Venera surface probes had operational lifetimes of less than 2 hours. Currently Venus is the target of one of four missions specifically mentioned for consideration for NASA's New Frontier Program with a launch date of 2010 or earlier. In light of this, it is beneficial to evaluate different analysis methods such as LIBS, which offer to greatly increase the scientific return from such a mission. Currently we have begun to evaluate LIBS detection in an environment with pressures and compositions which are similar to those found on Venus. Although the temperature of Venus ({approx} 735 K) has not been taken into account in these experiments, due to the high temperature of the plasma ({approx}8000 K) signifcant perturbations of excitation characteristics sufficient to affect LIBS analytical capability would not be expected. Previous work, however, has shown that the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere can have a strong effect on the detection of elements in soil. These studies have mainly concentrated on pressures at or below earth ambient pressure, but one study has shown successful results at elevated pressures (3

  18. Analysis of Venusian Zonal Winds Using Venus Express Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCabe, Ryan M.; Sayanagi, Kunio M.; Blalock, John J.; Peralta, Javier; Gray, Candace L.; McGouldrick, Kevin; Imamura, Takeshi

    2016-10-01

    We measure the zonal mean wind structure of Venus between 2006 and 2013 in the ultraviolet images captured by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard the ESA Venus Express spacecraft. Our wind measurements employ the digital two-dimensional Correlation Imaging Velocimetry method to track cloud motions. Our current focus is on understanding the short- and long-term dynamics of Venus's atmospheric superrotation, in which the equatorial atmosphere rotates with a period of approximately 4-5 days (~60 times faster than the solid planet). The Venusian atmospheric superrotation's forcing and maintenance mechanisms remain to be explained. A number of studies have been published on the cloud-tracking wind measurements on Venus, however, those different measurements have not reached a consensus on the temporal evolution of the zonal wind structure (e.g., Kouyama et al 2013, Khatuntsev et al 2013, Patsaeva et al. 2015). Temporal evolution of the zonal wind could reveal the transport of energy and momentum and eventually shed a light on mechanisms that maintain the superrotation. Our first goal is to characterize the temporal dynamics of Venus's zonal wind profile and two-dimensional wind field, in which we will search for equatorial waves (in particular the so-called "Y-feature") that may force the Venusian atmospheric superrotation.Kouyama, T. et al (2013), J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 37-46, doi:10.1029/2011JE004013.Khatuntsev et al. (2013), Icarus, 226, 140-158, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.05.018.Patsaeva,M.V.,et al. (2015), Planetary and Space Science, 113, 100-108, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2015.01.013.

  19. Limb Darkening study using Venus nightside infrared spectra from VIRTIS-Venus Express data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longobardo, Andrea; Palomba, Ernesto; Zinzi, Angelo; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Tsang, Constantine C. C.; Drossart, Pierre

    2012-08-01

    The Limb Darkening (LD) effect consists in an attenuation of the measured radiance at increasing emergence angles, due to the larger portion of the atmosphere traversed by the radiation observed at higher emergence angles. The behaviour of radiance emerging with atmosphere as function of the emergence angle (i.e., the Limb Darkening Function) is related to several atmosphere and cloud properties, e.g., atmospheric opacity, temperature lapse rate, aerosol single scattering albedo, optical depth, cloud particles size, cloud scale height. In addition, the retrieval of the Limb Darkening Function allows the computation of radiances as they would be acquired in Nadir observations, which is an important process of data reduction. In this work Limb Darkening is studied on infrared images of the Venus nightside. The images are provided by the VIRTIS instrument (Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) onboard the Venus Express mission. Analysis is performed at wavelengths characterised by emission coming from below the clouds (i.e., 1.03 μm, 1.31 μm, 1.74 μm, 2.30 μm) and from upper clouds (i.e., 3.72 μm, 4.00 μm), respectively. In the first case, the Limb Darkening Function is retrieved at different latitude ranges (-40° to 0°, -50° to -40°, -60° to -50°, -70° to -60°) and different optical depths. To this end, a novel approach is developed, based on a statistical analysis of observed data. This statistical analysis is possible thanks to the very extended dataset provided by the VIRTIS instrument. These empirical Limb Darkening Functions are then compared and interpreted with the aid of radiative transfer models. An agreement between our results and results of synthetic models is found between -60° and 0°, allowing us to consider our approach well validated. Furthermore, by means of a detailed analysis of the LDFs obtained at different latitudes, it is possible to infer a slight increase of the mode3/mode2 density ratio between -60° and -50

  20. Integration of Radioisotope Heat Source with Stirling Engine and Cooler for Venus Internal-Structure Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The primary mission goal is to perform long-term seismic measurements on Venus, to study its largely unknown internal structure. The principal problem is that most payload components cannot long survive Venus's harsh environment, 90 bars at 500 degrees C. To meet the mission life goal, such components must be protected by a refrigerated payload bay. JPL Investigators have proposed a mission concept employing a lander with a spherical payload bay cooled to 25 degrees C by a Stirling cooler powered by a radioisotope-heated Sitrling engine. To support JPL's mission study, NASA/Lewis and MTI have proposed a conceptual design for a hydraulically coupled Stirling engine and cooler, and Fairchild Space - with support of the Department of Energy - has proposed a design and integration scheme for a suitable radioisotope heat source. The key integration problem is to devise a simple, light-weight, and reliable scheme for forcing the radioisotope decay heat to flow through the Stirling engine during operation on Venus, but to reject that heat to the external environment when the Stirling engine and cooler are not operating (e.g., during the cruise phase, when the landers are surrounded by heat shields needed for protection during subsequent entry into the Venusian atmosphere.) A design and integration scheme for achieving these goals, together with results of detailed thermal analyses, are described in this paper. There are 7 copies in the file.

  1. A study of an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus. Volume 2: Configuration comparisons and systems evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Configuration comparisons and systems evaluation for the orbital radar mapping mission of the planet Venus are discussed. Designs are recommended which best satisfy the science objectives of the Venus radar mapping concept. Attention is given to the interaction and integration of those specific mission-systems recommendations with one another, and the final proposed designs are presented. The feasibility, cost, and scheduling of these configurations are evaluated against assumptions of reasonable state-of-the-art growth and space funding expectations.

  2. Mars exploration, Venus swingby and conjunction class mission modes, time period 2000 to 2045

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, A. C.; Mulqueen, J. A.; Skinner, J. E.

    1984-01-01

    Trajectory and mission requirement data are presented for Earth-Mars opposition class and conjunction class round trip stopover mission opportunities available during the time period year 2000 to year 2045. The opposition class mission employs the gravitational field of Venus to accelerate the space vehicle on either the outbound or inbound leg. The gravitational field of Venus was used to reduce the propulsion requirement associated with the opposition class mission. Representative space vehicle systems are sized to compare the initial mass required in low Earth orbit of one mission opportunity with another mission opportunity. The interplanetary space vehicle is made up of the spacecraft and the space vehicle acceleration system. The space vehicle acceleration system consists of three propulsion stages. The first propulsion stage performs the Earth escape maneuver; the second stage brakes the spacecraft and Earth braking stage into the Mars elliptical orbit and effects the escape maneuver from the Mars elliptical orbit. The third propulsion stage brakes the mission module into an elliptical orbit at Earth return. The interplanetary space vehicle was assumed to be assembled in and depart from the space station circular orbit.

  3. Electronics and Sensor Cooling with a Stirling Cycle for Venus Surface Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mellott, Ken

    2004-01-01

    The inhospitable ambient surface conditions of Venus, with a 450 C temperature and 92 bar pressure, may likely require any extended-duration surface exploratory mission to incorporate some type of cooling for probe electronics and sensor devices. A multiple-region Venus mission study was completed at NASA GRC in December of 2003 that resulted in the preliminary design of a kinematically-driven, helium charged, Stirling cooling cycle with an estimated over-all COP of 0.376 to lift 100 watts of heat from a 200 C cold sink temperature and reject it at a hot sink temperature of 500 C. This paper briefly describes the design process and also describes and summarizes key features of the kinematic, Stirling cooler preliminary design concept.

  4. Mars Express and Venus Express Data Retention In-Flight Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebrédonchel, J.; Rombeck, F.-J.

    2007-08-01

    Venus, Mars and Earth, three out of the four inner or 'rocky' planets of the Solar System, have a lot in common: a solid surface you could walk on, a comparable surface composition, an atmosphere and a weather system. European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express (MEx) and Venus Express (VEx) pioneer scientific missions aim at exploring these two neighbours of the Earth, in order to enrich our knowledge of our planet and of the Solar System. Both projects are based on the same spacecraft bus, and in particular on 'sister' Solid State Mass Memory (SSMM) units, in charge of the acquisition, storage and retrieval of all on board data, relevant both to the platform and to the instruments. This paper recalls the common SSMM design and the inner fault tolerant memory array module architecture based on Computer Off The Shelf (COTS) Samsung 64 Mbit Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM) chips, and presents the comparative in-flight data retention performance for both MEx and Vex units, since their respective June 2003 and November 2005 launches. Both units have shown to successfully withstand the radiative deep space environment, including during the outstanding October 2003 solar flare, and no uncorrectable data corruption was ever reported. Beyond this stable retention performance over time, the memory scrubbing correctable error accounting feedback allows evaluating the deep space Single Event Upset (SEU) rates, to be compared with the theoretical SSMM radiation assessment as well as with other previous missions in-flight qualitative reference performance records, and finally enables to derive a couple of recommendations from the lessons' learnt.

  5. High latitude gravity waves at the Venus cloud tops as observed by the Venus Monitoring Camera on board Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccialli, A.; Titov, D. V.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Peralta, J.; Shalygina, O.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Svedhem, H.

    2014-01-01

    High resolution images of Venus Northern hemisphere obtained with the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC/VEx) allow studying small-scale dynamical phenomena at the cloud tops (˜62-70 km altitude) including features like wave trains. A systematic visual search of these waves was performed; more than 1500 orbits were analyzed and wave patterns were observed in more than 300 images. Four types of waves were identified in VMC images on the base of their morphology: long, medium, short and irregular type waves. With the aim to characterize the wave types and their possible excitation source, we retrieved wave properties such as location (latitude and longitude), local time, solar zenith angle, packet length and width, orientation, and wavelength of each wave. The long type waves appear as long and narrow straight features extending more than a few hundreds kilometers and with wavelengths between 7 and 17 km. Medium type waves exhibit irregular wavefronts extending more than 100 km and with wavelengths in the range 8-21 km. Short wave packets have a width of several tens of kilometers and extend to few hundreds kilometers and are characterized by smaller wavelengths (3-16 km). Irregular wave fields appear to be the result of wave interference. The waves are often identified in all VMC filters and are mostly found in the cold collar region at high latitudes (60-80°N) and are concentrated above Ishtar Terra, a continental size highland that includes the highest mountain belts of the planet. The high speed of the Venus Express spacecraft close to the pericentre does not allow to measure phase speed of waves due to the short temporal interval between image pairs. The lack of information on phase velocities does not allow us to establish with absolute confidence the nature of these waves. However, by comparing the morphology and properties of the wave features observed in VMC images to those seen by previous observations it is reasonable to assume that the waves studied here are

  6. Models of the global cloud structure on Venus derived from Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barstow, J. K.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Wilson, C. F.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Taylor, F. W.; McGouldrick, K.; Drossart, P.; Piccioni, G.; Tellmann, S.

    2012-02-01

    Spatially-resolved near-infrared spectra from the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on Venus Express have been used to derive improved models of the vertical structure and global distribution of cloud properties in the southern hemisphere of Venus. VIRTIS achieved the first systematic, global mapping of Venus at wavelengths within transparency windows in the 1.6-2.6 μm range, which are sensitive on the nightside to absorption by the lower and middle cloud layers of thermally-emitted radiation from the hot lower atmosphere ( Taylor, F.W., Crisp, D., Bézard, B. [1997]. Venus II: Geology, Geophysics, Atmosphere, and Solar Wind Environment, pp. 325-351). The cloud model used to interpret the spectra is based on previous work by Pollack et al. (Pollack, J., Dalton, J., Grinspoon, D., Wattson, R., Freedman, R., Crisp, D., Allen, D., Bézard, B., de Bergh, C., Giver, L. [1993]. Icarus 103, 1-42), Grinspoon et al. (Grinspoon, D.H., Pollack, J.B., Sitton, B.R., Carlson, R.W., Kamp, L.W., Baines, K.H., Encrenaz, T., Taylor, F.W. [1993]. Planet. Space Sci. 41, 515-542) and Crisp (Crisp, D. [1986]. Icarus 67, 484-514), and assumes a composition for the cloud particles of sulfuric acid and water, with acid concentration as a free parameter to be determined. Other retrieved parameters are the average size of the particles and the altitude of the cloud base in the model. Latitudinal variation in the atmospheric temperature structure was incorporated using data from the Venus Radio Science experiment (VeRa). Values are estimated initially using wavelength pairs selected for their unique sensitivity to each parameter, and then validated by comparing measured to calculated spectra over the entire wavelength range, the latter generated using the NEMESIS radiative transfer and retrieval code (Irwin, P.G.J., Teanby, N.A., de Kok, R., Fletcher, L.N., Howett, C.J.A., Tsang, C.C.C., Wilson, C.F., Calcutt, S.B., Nixon, C.A., Parrish, P.D. [2008]. J. Quant

  7. Analysis of Venus Express optical extinction due to aerosols in the upper haze of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, Christopher; Bougher, Stephen; Mahieux, Arnaud; Tellmann, Silvia; Pätzold, Martin; Vandaele, Ann C.; Wilquet, Valérie; Schulte, Rick; Yung, Yuk; Gao, Peter; Bardeen, Charles

    Observations by the SPICAV/SOIR instruments aboard Venus Express (VEx) have revealed that the Upper Haze of Venus is populated by two particle modes, as reported by Wilquet et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B42, 2009; Icarus 217, 2012). Gao et al. (In press, Icarus, 2013) posit that the large mode is made up of cloud particles that have diffused upwards from the cloud deck below, while the smaller mode is generated by the in situ nucleation of meteoric dust. They tested this hypothesis by using version 3.0 of the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres, first developed by Turco et al. (J. Atmos. Sci., 36, 699-717, 1979) and upgraded to version 3.0 by Bardeen et al. (The CARMA 3.0 microphysics package in CESM, Whole Atmosphere Working Group Meeting, 2011). Using the meteoric dust production profile of Kalashnikova et al. (Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3293-3296, 2000), the sulfur/sulfate condensation nuclei production profile of Imamura and Hashimoto (J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 3597-3612, 2001), and sulfuric acid vapor production profile of Zhang et al. (Icarus, 217, 714-739, 2012), they numerically simulate a column of the Venus atmosphere from 40 to 100 km above the surface. Their aerosol number density results agree well with Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) data from Knollenberg and Hunten (J. Geophys. Res., 85, 8039-8058, 1980), while their gas distribution results match that of Kolodner and Steffes below 55 km (Icarus, 132, 151-169, 1998). The resulting size distribution of cloud particles shows two distinct modes, qualitatively matching the observations of PVO. They also observe a third mode in their results with a size of a few microns at 48 km altitude, which appears to support the existence of the controversial third mode in the PVO data. This mode disappears if coagulation is not included in the simulation. The Upper Haze size distribution shows two lognormal-like distributions overlapping each other, possibly indicating the presence of the two distinct

  8. Atomic oxygen distributions in the Venus thermosphere: Comparisons between Venus Express observations and global model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecht, A. S.; Bougher, S. W.; Gérard, J.-C.; Soret, L.

    2012-02-01

    Nightglow emissions provide insight into the global thermospheric circulation, specifically in the transition region (˜70-120 km). The O 2 IR nightglow statistical map created from Venus Express (VEx) Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) observations has been used to deduce a three-dimensional atomic oxygen density map. In this study, the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) is utilized to provide a self-consistent global view of the atomic oxygen density distribution. More specifically, the VTGCM reproduces a 2D nightside atomic oxygen density map and vertical profiles across the nightside, which are compared to the VEx atomic oxygen density map. Both the simulated map and vertical profiles are in close agreement with VEx observations within a ˜30° contour of the anti-solar point. The quality of agreement decreases past ˜30°. This discrepancy implies the employment of Rayleigh friction within the VTGCM may be an over-simplification for representing wave drag effects on the local time variation of global winds. Nevertheless, the simulated atomic oxygen vertical profiles are comparable with the VEx profiles above 90 km, which is consistent with similar O 2 ( 1Δ) IR nightglow intensities. The VTGCM simulations demonstrate the importance of low altitude trace species as a loss for atomic oxygen below 95 km. The agreement between simulations and observations provides confidence in the validity of the simulated mean global thermospheric circulation pattern in the lower thermosphere.

  9. Comparison of Thermal Structure Results from Venus Express and Ground Based Observations since Vira

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay

    2016-07-01

    An international team was formed in 2013 through the International Space Studies Institute (Bern, Switzerland) to compare recent results of the Venus atmospheric thermal structure from spacecraft and ground based observations made since the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) was developed (Kliore et al., 1985, Keating et al., 1985). Five experiments on European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter mission have yielded results on the atmospheric structure during is operational life (April 2006 - November 2014). Three of these were from occultation methods: at near infrared wavelengths from solar occultations, (SOIR, 70 - 170 km), at ultraviolet wavelengths from stellar occultations (SPICAV, 90-140 km), and occultation of the VEx-Earth radio signal (VeRa, 40-90 km). In-situ drag measurements from three different techniques (accelerometry, torque, and radio tracking, 130 - 200 km) were also obtained using the spacecraft itself while passive infrared remote sensing was used by the VIRTIS experiment (70 - 120 km). The only new data in the -40-70 km altitude range are from radio occultation, as no new profiles of the deep atmosphere have been obtained since the VeGa 2 lander measurements in 1985 (not included in VIRA). Some selected ground based results available to the team were also considered by team in the inter comparisons. The temperature structure in the lower thermosphere from disk resolved ground based observations (except for one ground based investigation), is generally consistent with the Venus Express results. These experiments sampled at different periods, at different locations and at different local times and have different vertical and horizontal resolution and coverage. The data were therefore binned in latitude and local time bins and compared, ignoring temporal variations over the life time of the Venus Express mission and assumed north-south symmetry. Alternating warm and cooler layers are present in the 120-160 altitude range in results

  10. Reassessing the possibility of life on venus: proposal for an astrobiology mission.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Irwin, Louis N

    2002-01-01

    With their similar size, chemical composition, and distance from the Sun, Venus and Earth may have shared a similar early history. Though surface conditions on Venus are now too extreme for life as we know it, it likely had abundant water and favorable conditions for life when the Sun was fainter early in the Solar System. Given the persistence of life under stabilizing selection in static environments, it is possible that life could exist in restricted environmental niches, where it may have retreated after conditions on the surface became untenable. High-pressure subsurface habitats with water in the supercritical liquid state could be a potential refugium, as could be the zone of dense cloud cover where thermoacidophilic life might have retreated. Technology based on the Stardust Mission to collect comet particles could readily be adapted for a pass through the appropriate cloud layer for sample collection and return to Earth.

  11. Venus Express bistatic radar: High-elevation anomalous reflectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Richard A.; Tyler, G. Leonard; Häusler, Bernd; Mattei, Riccardo; Pätzold, Martin

    2009-06-01

    Magellan (MGN) bistatic radar observations in 1994 confirmed earlier Pioneer Venus reports of unusual Venus surface reflectivity and emissivity at elevations above 6054 km radius. They also revealed that the anomalous values of surface dielectric constant $\\varepsilon$ near Cleopatra Patera included a large imaginary component ($\\varepsilon$ ≈ -i 100) at 13 cm wavelength, consistent with a semiconducting surface material. The MGN observations were conducted using a linearly polarized wave, canted at 45° with respect to the plane of incidence and radiated by the MGN synthetic aperture radar antenna toward the specularly reflecting region of the mean planetary surface. In 2006 similar experiments were conducted using 13 cm circularly polarized transmissions from Venus Express (VEX). The VEX signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was lower than that of MGN, but elevated ∣$\\varepsilon$∣ has been inferred broadly over Maxwell Montes. A quasi-specular echo was detected near Cleopatra but with insufficient SNR to address the question of conductivity. An early failure of the VEX 13 cm radio system precludes further measurements with VEX.

  12. Exploring Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    With a temperature higher than the inside of your oven and atmospheric pressure equal to that a kilometer under the ocean, the surface of Venus is one of the most hostile environments in the solar system, and Venus exploration presents a challenge to technology. This lecture presents mission trade-offs and discusses a proposed mission concept for rover and aircraft based exploration of the surface and atmosphere of Venus. Several approaches to the technology, electronics, mechanical parts, and power systems, are discussed.

  13. RAVEN - High-resolution Mapping of Venus within a Discovery Mission Budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpton, V. L.; Herrick, R. R.; Rogers, F.; Waterman, S.

    2009-12-01

    It has been more than 15 years since the Magellan mission mapped Venus with S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images at ~100-m resolution. Advances in radar technology are such that current Earth-orbiting SAR instruments are capable of providing images at meter-scale resolution. RAVEN (RAdar at VENus) is a mission concept that utilizes the instrument developed for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) to map Venus in an economical, highly capable, and reliable way. RCM relies on a C-band SAR that can be tuned to generate images at a wide variety of resolutions and swath widths, ranging from ScanSAR mode (broad swaths at 30-m resolution) to strip-map mode (resolutions as fine as 3 m), as well as a spotlight mode that can image patches at 1-m resolution. In particular, the high-resolution modes allow the landing sites of previous missions to be pinpointed and characterized. Repeat-pass interferometric SAR (InSAR) and stereo radargrammetry provide options for constraining topography to better than 100-m horizontal and 10-m vertical resolution. InSAR also provides the potential for detecting surface deformation at centimeter precision. Performing InSAR requires precise knowledge and control of the orbital geometry, and for this reason a 600-km circular polar orbit is favored. This configuration causes the equatorial nadir point to move ~9 km per orbit. Considering both ascending and descending passes, the spacecraft will pass over every point on the planet in half a Venus day (~4 Earth months). The ability to transmit data back to Earth via the Deep Space Network is the primary limiting factor on the volume of data that can be collected. Our current estimates indicate that within an imaging cycle of one Venus day we can image 20-30 percent of the planet at 20-30-m resolution and several percent at 3-5 m resolution. These figures compare favorably to the coverage provided by recent imaging systems orbiting Mars. Our strategy calls for the first cycle of coverage

  14. PC-402 Pioneer Venus orbiter spacecraft mission operational characteristics document

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, F. C.; Butterworth, L. W.; Daniel, R. E.; Drean, R. J.; Filetti, K. A.; Fisher, J. N.; Nowak, L. A.; Porzucki, J.; Salvatore, J. O.; Tadler, G. A.

    1978-01-01

    The operational characteristics of the Orbiter spacecraft and its subsystems are described. In extensive detail. Description of the nominal phases, system interfaces, and the capabilities and limitations of system level performance are included along with functional and operational descriptions at the subsystem and unit level the subtleties of nominal operation as well as detailed capabilities and limitations beyond nominal performance are discussed. A command and telemetry logic flow diagram for each subsystem is included. Each diagram encountered along each command signal path into, and each telemetry signal path out of the subsystem. Normal operating modes that correspond to the performance of specific functions at the time of specific events in the mission are also discussed. Principal backup means of performing the normal Orbiter operating modes are included.

  15. Nuclear Polar VALOR: An ASRG-Enabled Venus Balloon Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, T. S.; Baines, K. H.

    2008-12-01

    In situ exploration of Venus is expected to answer high priority science questions about the planet's origin, evolution, chemistry, and dynamics as identified in the NRC Decadal Survey and in the VEXAG White Paper. Furthermore, exploration of the polar regions of Venus is key to understanding its climate and global circulation, as well as providing insight into the circulation, chemistry, and climatological processes on Earth. In this paper we discuss our proposed Nuclear Polar VALOR mission, which would target one of the polar regions of Venus, while building on design heritage from the Discovery class VALOR concept, proposed in 2004 and 2006. Riding the strong zonal winds at 55 km altitude and drifting poleward from mid-latitude this balloon-borne aerial science station (aerostat) would circumnavigate the planet multiple times over its one- month operation, extensively investigating polar dynamics, meteorology, and chemistry. Rising and descending over 1 km altitude in planetary waves - similar to the two VEGA balloons in 1985 - onboard instrumentation would accurately and constantly sample and measure other meteorological and chemical parameters, such as atmospheric temperature and pressure, cloud particle sizes and their local column abundances, the vertical wind component, and the chemical composition of cloud-forming trace gases. As well, when viewed with terrestrial radio telescopes on the Earth-facing side of Venus, both zonal and meridional winds would be measured to high accuracy (better than 10 cm/sec averaged over an hour). Due to three factors: the lack of sunlight near the poles; severe limitations on the floating mass-fraction available for a power source; and the science requirements for intensive and continuous measurements of the balloon's environment and movement, a long-duration polar balloon mission would require a long-lived internal power source in a relatively lightweight package. For our concept we assumed an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope

  16. A Search for Viable Venus and Jupiter Sample Return Mission Trajectories for the Next Decade

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leong, Jason N.; Papadopoulos, Periklis

    2005-01-01

    Planetary exploration using unmanned spacecraft capable of returning geologic or atmospheric samples have been discussed as a means of gathering scientific data for several years. Both NASA and ESA performed initial studies for Sample Return Missions (SRMs) in the late 1990 s, but most suggested a launch before the year 2010. The GENESIS and STARDUST spacecraft are the only current examples of the SRM concept with the Mars SRM expected around 2015. A feasibility study looking at SRM trajectories to Venus and Jupiter, for a spacecraft departing the Earth between the years 2011 through 2020 was conducted for a university project. The objective of the study was to evaluate SRMs to planets other than Mars, which has already gained significant attention in the scientific community. This paper is a synopsis of the study s mission trajectory concept and the conclusions to the viability of such a mission with today s technology.

  17. Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections Observed by MESSENGER and Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Good, S. W.; Forsyth, R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) observed by the MESSENGER and Venus Express spacecraft have been catalogued and analysed. The ICMEs were identified by a relatively smooth rotation of the magnetic field direction consistent with a flux rope structure, coinciding with a relatively enhanced magnetic field strength. A total of 35 ICMEs were found in the surveyed MESSENGER data (primarily from March 2007 to April 2012), and 84 ICMEs in the surveyed Venus Express data (from May 2006 to December 2013). The ICME flux rope configurations have been determined. Ropes with northward leading edges were about four times more common than ropes with southward leading edges, in agreement with a previously established solar cycle dependence. Ropes with low inclinations to the solar equatorial plane were about four times more common than ropes with high inclinations, possibly an observational effect. Left- and right-handed ropes were observed in almost equal numbers. In addition, data from MESSENGER, Venus Express, STEREO-A, STEREO-B and ACE were examined for multipoint signatures of the catalogued ICMEs. For spacecraft separations below 15° in heliocentric longitude, the second spacecraft observed the ICME flux rope in 82 % of cases; this percentage dropped to 49 % for separations between 15 and 30°, to 18 % for separations between 30 and 45°, and to 12 % for separations between 45 and 60°. As the spacecraft separation increased, it became increasingly likely that only the sheath and not the flux rope of the ICME was observed, in agreement with the notion that ICME flux ropes are smaller in longitudinal extent than the shocks or discontinuities that they often drive. Furthermore, this study has identified 23 ICMEs observed by pairs of spacecraft close to radial alignment. A detailed analysis of these events could lead to a better understanding of how ICMEs evolve during propagation.

  18. Access to VIRTIS / Venus-Express post-operations data archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erard, Stéphane; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Henry, Florence; Politi, Romolo

    2016-10-01

    All data acquired during the Venus-Express mission are publicly available on ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA). The PSA itself is being redesigned to provide more comprehensive access to its content and a new interface is expected to be ready in the coming months.However, an alternative access to the VIRTIS/VEx dataset is also provided in the PI institutes as part of the Europlanet-2020 European programme. The VESPA user interface (http://vespa.obspm.fr) provides a query mechanism based on observational conditions and instrument parameters to select data cubes of interest in the PSA and to connect them to standard plotting and analysis tools. VESPA queries will also identify related data in other datasets responsive to this mechanism, e. g., contextual images or dynamic simulations of the atmosphere, including outcomes of the EuroVenus programme funded by the EU. A specific on-line spectral cube viewer has been developed at Paris Observatory (http://voplus.obspm.fr/apericubes/js9/demo.php). Alternative ways to access the VIRTIS data are being considered, including python access to PDS3 data (https://github.com/VIRTIS-VEX/VIRTISpy) and distribution in NetCDF format on IAPS website (http://planetcdf.iaps.inaf.it). In the near future, an extended data service will provide direct access to individual spectra on the basis of viewing angles, time, and location.The next step will be to distribute products derived from data analysis, such as surface and wind maps, atmospheric profiles, movies of the polar vortices or O2 emission on the night side, etc. Such products will be accessed in a similar way, and will make VIRTIS results readily available for future Venus studies. Similar actions are taken in the frame of Europlanet concerning atmospheric data from the Mars-Express mission and Cassini observations of Titan.

  19. Venus cloud bobber mission: A long term survey of the Venusian surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wai, James; Derengowski, Cheryl; Lautzenhiser, Russ; Emerson, Matt; Choi, Yongho

    1994-01-01

    We have examined the Venus Balloon concept in order to further develop the ideas and concepts behind it, and to creatively apply them to the design of the major Venus Balloon components. This report presents our models of the vertical path taken by the Venus Balloon and the entry into Venusian atmosphere. It also details our designs of the balloon, gondola, heat exchanger, power generator, and entry module. A vehicle is designed for a ballistic entry into the Venusian atmosphere, and an atmospheric model is created. The model is then used to set conditions. The shape and material of the vehicle are optimized, and the dimensions of the vehicle are then determined. Equipment is chosen and detailed that will be needed to collect and transmit information and control the mission. A gondola is designed that will enable this sensitive electronic equipment to survive in an atmosphere of very high temperature and pressure. This shape and the material of the shell are optimized, and the size is minimized. Insulation and supporting structures are designed to protect the payload equipment and to minimize mass. A method of cooling the gondola at upper altitudes was established. Power needs of the gondola equipment are determined. Power generation options are discussed and two separate thermoelectric generation models are outlined.

  20. Advanced Stirling Duplex Materials Assessment for Potential Venus Mission Heater Head Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ritzert, Frank; Nathal, Michael V.; Salem, Jonathan; Jacobson, Nathan; Nesbitt, James

    2011-01-01

    This report will address materials selection for components in a proposed Venus lander system. The lander would use active refrigeration to allow Space Science instrumentation to survive the extreme environment that exists on the surface of Venus. The refrigeration system would be powered by a Stirling engine-based system and is termed the Advanced Stirling Duplex (ASD) concept. Stirling engine power conversion in its simplest definition converts heat from radioactive decay into electricity. Detailed design decisions will require iterations between component geometries, materials selection, system output, and tolerable risk. This study reviews potential component requirements against known materials performance. A lower risk, evolutionary advance in heater head materials could be offered by nickel-base superalloy single crystals, with expected capability of approximately 1100C. However, the high temperature requirements of the Venus mission may force the selection of ceramics or refractory metals, which are more developmental in nature and may not have a well-developed database or a mature supporting technology base such as fabrication and joining methods.

  1. A recommended entry reconstruction process for the Pioneer Venus multi-probe mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Findlay, J. T.; Kelly, G. M.

    1978-01-01

    A method for determining the entry trajectories for the Pioneer Venus multi-probe mission is presented that utilizes earth based Doppler and onboard accelerometry as observables to provide updates for the spacecraft state and atmospheric parameters. The evolution of this method, based on error analyses and actual simulation results, is discussed. A derivative of the Viking radio science orbit determination software is recommended for the reconstruction. Telemetry data pre-processing requirements were defined. A cubic spline derivative routine is recommended to extract accelerations from the accumulated velocity decrements.

  2. Thermal zonal winds in the Venus mesosphere from the Venus Express temperature soundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccialli, Arianna; Titov, Dmitri; Tellmann, Silvia; Migliorini, Alessandra; Read, Peter; Grassi, Davide; Paetzold, Martin; Haeusler, Bernd; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    ., 1984) showed that on a slowly rotating planet, like Venus, strong zonal winds at the cloud top can be described by a cyclostrophic balance in which the equatorward component of centrifugal force is balanced by the meridional pressure gradient. This equation gives a possibility to reconstruct the zonal wind if the temperature field is known, together with a suitable boundary condition on u. Two experiments onboard Venus Express are sounding the temperature structure of the Venus mesosphere: VIRTIS sounds the Venus Southern hemisphere in the altitude range 65-90 km with a very good spatial and temporal coverage (Grassi et al., 2008) and the Northern hemi-sphere but with more limited coverage; VeRa observes both northern and southern hemispheres between 40-90 km altitude with a vertical resolution of ˜500 m (Tellmann et al., 2008). Here we present zonal thermal winds derived applying cyclostrophic balance from VIRTIS and VeRa temperature retrievals. The main features of the retrieved winds are: (1) a midlatitude jet with a maximum speed up to 140 ± 15 m s-1 which occurs around 50° S latitude at 70 km altitude; (2) the fast decrease of the wind speed from 60° S toward the pole; (3) the decrease of the wind speed with increasing height above the jet (Piccialli et al., 2008). Cyclostrophic winds show satisfactory agreement with the cloud-tracked winds derived from the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC/VEx) UV images, although a disagreement is observed at the equator and near the pole due to the breakdown of the cyclostrophic approximation. From zonal thermal winds the Richardson number has been evaluated. In good agreement with previous studies (Allison et al., 1994), we have found that the atmosphere is dominated by convection from ˜45 km altitude up to the cloud top. A high value of Richardson number has been determined, cor-responding to the midlatitude jet and indicating a highly stable atmosphere. Verification of the necessary condition for barotropic instability

  3. No statistical evidence of lightning in Venus night-side atmosphere from VIRTIS-Venus Express Visible observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardesín Moinelo, A.; Abildgaard, S.; García Muñoz, A.; Piccioni, G.; Grassi, D.

    2016-10-01

    In this study we describe a dedicated analysis of luminous transient events on Venus night side atmosphere with the visible channel of the VIRTIS instrument (280-1100 nm), this being the most comprehensive search of lightning conducted so far with Venus Express data. Our search results in thousands of signal detections, but unfortunately they can be all explained by cosmic rays impinging on the detector, and further statistical analysis shows that all of the events are randomly distributed along the spectral dimension, therefore not showing any clear evidence of signal coming from lightning emission in the Venus atmosphere. This does not exclude the existence of lightning, but imposes some constraints on their occurrence that are important for future research.

  4. First observation of 628 CO 2 isotopologue band at 3.3 μm in the atmosphere of Venus by solar occultation from Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Vandaele, Ann Carine; Wilquet, Valérie; Montmessin, F.; Dahoo, R.; Villard, E.; Korablev, O.; Fedorova, A.

    2008-05-01

    The new ESA Venus Express orbiter is the first mission applying the probing technique of solar and stellar occultation to the atmosphere of Venus, with the SPICAV/SOIR instrument. SOIR is a new type of spectrometer used for solar occultations in the range 2.2-4.3 μm. Thanks to a high spectral resolving power R˜15,000-20,000 (unprecedented in planetary space exploration), a new gaseous absorption band was soon detected in the atmospheric transmission spectra around 2982 cm -1, showing a structure resembling an unresolved Q branch and a number of isolated lines with a regular wave number pattern. This absorption could not be matched to any species contained in HITRAN or GEISA databases, but was found very similar to an absorption pattern observed by a US team in the spectrum of solar light reflected by the ground of Mars [Villanueva, G.L., Mumma, M.J., Novak, R.E., Hewagama, T., 2008. Icarus 195 (1), 34-44]. This team then suggested to us that the absorption was due to an uncatalogued transition of the 16O 12C 18O molecule. The possible existence of this band was soon confirmed from theoretical considerations by Perevalov and Tashkun. Some SOIR observations of the atmospheric transmission are presented around 2982 cm -1, and rough calculations of line strengths of the Q branch are produced, based on the isotopic ratio measured earlier in the lower atmosphere of Venus. This discovery emphasizes the role of isotopologues of CO 2 (as well as H 2O and HDO) as important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of Venus.

  5. The electrical performance of Ag Zn batteries for the Venus multi-probe mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palandati, C.

    1975-01-01

    An evaluation of 5 Ah and 21 Ah Silver-Zinc batteries was made to determine their suitability to meet the energy storage requirements of the bus vehicle, 3 small probes and large probe for the Venus multi-probe mission. The evaluation included a 4 Ah battery for the small probe, a 21 Ah battery for the large probe, one battery of each size for the bus vehicle power, a periodic cycling test on each size battery and a wet stand test of charged and discharged cells of both cell designs. The study on the probe batteries and bus vehicle batteries included both electrical and thermal simulation for the entire mission. The effects on silver migration and zinc penetration of the cellophane separators caused by the various test parameters were determined by visual and X-ray fluorescence analysis. The 5 Ah batteries supported the power requirements for the bus vehicle and small probe. The 21 Ah large probe battery supplied the required mission power. Both probe batteries delivered in excess of 132 percent of rated capacity at the completion of the mission simulation.

  6. Mission Sizing and Trade Studies for Low Ballistic Coefficient Entry Systems to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutta, Soumyo; Smith, Brandon; Prabhu, Dinesh; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2012-01-01

    The U.S and the U.S.S.R. have sent seventeen successful atmospheric entry missions to Venus. Past missions to Venus have utilized rigid aeroshell systems for entry. This rigid aeroshell paradigm sets performance limitations since the size of the entry vehicle is constrained by the fairing diameter of the launch vehicle. This has limited ballistic coefficients (beta) to well above 100 kg/m2 for the entry vehicles. In order to maximize the science payload and minimize the Thermal Protection System (TPS) mass, these missions have entered at very steep entry flight path angles (gamma). Due to Venus thick atmosphere and the steep-gamma, high- conditions, these entry vehicles have been exposed to very high heat flux, very high pressures and extreme decelerations (upwards of 100 g's). Deployable aeroshells avoid the launch vehicle fairing diameter constraint by expanding to a larger diameter after the launch. Due to the potentially larger wetted area, deployable aeroshells achieve lower ballistic coefficients (well below 100 kg/m2), and if they are flown at shallower flight path angles, the entry vehicle can access trajectories with far lower decelerations (50-60 g's), peak heat fluxes (400 W/cm2) and peak pressures. The structural and TPS mass of the shallow-gamma, low-beta deployables are lower than their steep-gamma, high-beta rigid aeroshell counterparts at larger diameters, contributing to lower areal densities and potentially higher payload mass fractions. For example, at large diameters, deployables may attain aeroshell areal densities of 10 kg/m2 as opposed to 50 kg/m2 for rigid aeroshells. However, the low-beta, shallow-gamma paradigm also raises issues, such as the possibility of skip-out during entry. The shallow-gamma could also increase the landing footprint of the vehicle. Furthermore, the deployable entry systems may be flexible, so there could be fluid-structure interaction, especially in the high altitude, low-density regimes. The need for precision in

  7. Atmospheric Entry Studies for Venus Missions: 45 Sphere-Cone Rigid Aeroshells and Ballistic Entries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Allen, Gary A., Jr.; Hwang, Helen H.; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Moses, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The present study considers direct ballistic entries into the atmosphere of Venus using a 45deg sphere-cone rigid aeroshell, a legacy shape that has been used successfully in the past in the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe Mission. For a number of entry mass and heatshield diameter combinations (i.e., various ballistic coefficients) and entry velocities, the trajectory space in terms of entry flight path angles between skip out and -30deg is explored with a 3DoF trajectory code, TRAJ. From these trajectories, the viable entry flight path angle space is determined through the use of mechanical and thermal performance limits on the thermal protection material and science payload; the thermal protection material of choice is entry-grade carbon phenolic, for which a material thermal response model is available. For mechanical performance, a 200 g limit is placed on the peak deceleration load experienced by the science instruments, and 10 bar is assumed as the pressure limit for entry-grade carbon-phenolic material. For thermal performance, inflection points in the total heat load distribution are used as cut off criteria. Analysis of the results shows the existence of a range of critical ballistic coefficients beyond which the steepest possible entries are determined by the pressure limit of the material rather than the deceleration load limit.

  8. Future dedicated Venus-SGG flight mission: Accuracy assessment and performance analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Wei; Hsu, Houtse; Zhong, Min; Yun, Meijuan

    2016-01-01

    This study concentrates principally on the systematic requirements analysis for the future dedicated Venus-SGG (spacecraft gravity gradiometry) flight mission in China in respect of the matching measurement accuracies of the spacecraft-based scientific instruments and the orbital parameters of the spacecraft. Firstly, we created and proved the single and combined analytical error models of the cumulative Venusian geoid height influenced by the gravity gradient error of the spacecraft-borne atom-interferometer gravity gradiometer (AIGG) and the orbital position error and orbital velocity error tracked by the deep space network (DSN) on the Earth station. Secondly, the ultra-high-precision spacecraft-borne AIGG is propitious to making a significant contribution to globally mapping the Venusian gravitational field and modeling the geoid with unprecedented accuracy and spatial resolution through weighing the advantages and disadvantages among the electrostatically suspended gravity gradiometer, the superconducting gravity gradiometer and the AIGG. Finally, the future dedicated Venus-SGG spacecraft had better adopt the optimal matching accuracy indices consisting of 3 × 10-13/s2 in gravity gradient, 10 m in orbital position and 8 × 10-4 m/s in orbital velocity and the preferred orbital parameters comprising an orbital altitude of 300 ± 50 km, an observation time of 60 months and a sampling interval of 1 s.

  9. Characterizing the V1 layer in the Venus ionosphere using VeRa observations from Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girazian, Z.; Withers, P.; Fallows, K.; Tarrh, A.; Paetzold, M.; Tellmann, S.; Haesler, B.

    2013-12-01

    The Venus Radio Science Experiment (VeRa) on the Venus Express spacecraft sounds the Venus atmosphere during Earth occultations to obtain vertical profiles of electron density in the ionosphere. The resultant profiles reveal the vertical structure of the Venus ionosphere from the topside down to below the lower layers (< 115 km). On the dayside, the dominant plasma layer is the V2 layer at ~142 km, which is produced primarily by photoionization of CO2. Embedded on the bottomside of the V2 layer is the less prominent, and much less studied, V1 layer at ~127 km. The V1 layer is also produced by photoionization of CO2, but secondary ionization due to energetic photoelectrons is much more important. Here we investigate properties of the V1 layer using VeRa profiles from 2006 to 2012 during which the Sun went from the deep solar minimum of Solar Cycle 23 to the rising solar activity levels of Solar Cycle 24. We investigate how the peak electron density and peak altitude of the V1 layer depend on solar zenith angle. We also characterize the shapes of the V1 layer and show how they are related to the solar activity level. Solar spectra from the Solar EUV Experiment (SEE) on the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) spacecraft are used to characterize the shapes of the V1 layer with solar activity.

  10. Improved algorithm for the transmittance estimation of spectra obtained with SOIR/Venus Express.

    PubMed

    Trompet, Loic; Mahieux, Arnaud; Ristic, Bojan; Robert, Séverine; Wilquet, Valérie; Thomas, Ian R; Vandaele, Ann Carine; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    2016-11-10

    The Solar Occultation in the InfraRed (SOIR) instrument onboard the ESA Venus Express spacecraft, an infrared spectrometer sensitive from 2.2 to 4.3 μm, probed the atmosphere of Venus from June 2006 until December 2014. During this time, it performed more than 750 solar occultations of the Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere. A new procedure has been developed for the estimation of the transmittance in order to decrease the number of rejected spectra, to check that the treated spectra are well calibrated, and to improve the quality of the calibrated spectra by reducing the noise and accurately normalizing it to the solar spectrum.

  11. Morphology of the cloud tops as observed by the Venus Express Monitoring Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitrij V.; Markiewicz, Wojciech J.; Ignatiev, Nikolay I.; Song, Li; Limaye, Sanjay S.; Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin; Hesemann, Jonas; Almeida, Miguel; Roatsch, Thomas; Matz, Klaus-Dieter; Scholten, Frank; Crisp, David; Esposito, Larry W.; Hviid, Stubbe F.; Jaumann, Ralf; Keller, Horst U.; Moissl, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Since the discovery of ultraviolet markings on Venus, their observations have been a powerful tool to study the morphology, motions and dynamical state at the cloud top level. Here we present the results of investigation of the cloud top morphology performed by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) during more than 3 years of the Venus Express mission. The camera acquires images in four narrow-band filters centered at 365, 513, 965 and 1010 nm with spatial resolution from 50 km at apocentre to a few hundred of meters at pericentre. The VMC experiment provides a significant improvement in the Venus imaging as compared to the capabilities of the earlier missions. The camera discovered new cloud features like bright "lace clouds" and cloud columns at the low latitudes, dark polar oval and narrow circular and spiral "grooves" in the polar regions, different types of waves at the high latitudes. The VMC observations revealed detailed structure of the sub-solar region and the afternoon convective wake, the bow-shape features and convective cells, the mid-latitude transition region and the "polar cap". The polar orbit of the satellite enables for the first time nadir viewing of the Southern polar regions and an opportunity to zoom in on the planet. The experiment returned numerous images of the Venus limb and documented global and local brightening events. VMC provided almost continuous monitoring of the planet with high temporal resolution that allowed one to follow changes in the cloud morphology at various scales. We present the in-flight performance of the instrument and focus in particular on the data from the ultraviolet channel, centered at the characteristic wavelength of the unknown UV absorber that yields the highest contrasts on the cloud top. Low latitudes are dominated by relatively dark clouds that have mottled and fragmented appearance clearly indicating convective activity in the sub-solar region. At ˜50° latitude this pattern gives way to streaky clouds

  12. Geologic interpretation of the near-infrared images of the surface taken by the Venus Monitoring Camera, Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Shalygin, E. V.; Titov, D. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Scholten, F.; Roatsch, Th.; Kreslavsky, M. A.; Moroz, L. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Fiethe, B.; Osterloh, B.; Michalik, H.

    2012-02-01

    We analyze night-time near-infrared (NIR) thermal emission images of the Venus surface obtained with the 1-μm channel of the Venus Monitoring Camera onboard Venus Express. Comparison with the results of the Magellan radar survey and the model NIR images of the Beta-Phoebe region show that the night-time VMC images provide reliable information on spatial variations of the NIR surface emission. In this paper we consider if tessera terrain has the different NIR emissivity (and thus mineralogic composition) in comparison to the surrounding basaltic plains. This is done through the study of an area SW of Beta Regio where there is a massif of tessera terrain, Chimon-mana Tessera, surrounded by supposedly basaltic plains. Our analysis showed that 1-μm emissivity of tessera surface material is by 15-35% lower than that of relatively fresh supposedly basaltic lavas of plains and volcanic edifices. This is consistent with hypothesis that the tessera material is not basaltic, maybe felsic, that is in agreement with the results of analyses of VEX VIRTIS and Galileo NIMS data. If the felsic nature of venusian tesserae will be confirmed in further studies this may have important implications on geochemical environments in early history of Venus. We have found that the surface materials of plains in the study area are very variegated in their 1-μm emissivity, which probably reflects variability of degree of their chemical weathering. We have also found a possible decrease of the calculated emissivity at the top of Tuulikki Mons volcano which, if real, may be due to different (more felsic?) composition of volcanic products on the volcano summit.

  13. Correlations between Venus nightside near infrared emissions measured by VIRTIS/Venus Express and Magellan radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N.; Helbert, J.; Hashimoto, G. L.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Erard, S.; Piccioni, G.; Drossart, P.

    2008-09-01

    Background The Venus Express Spacecraft images the nightside thermal emissions using the VIRTIS imaging spectrometer. At 1.02 micron thermal emission from the surface is penetrates the atmosphere but the signal is attenuated by scattering and absorption [1, 2]. Although the measured flux at top of the atmosphere is nonlinearly related to the original emission of the surface, it is still positively correlated with the product of surface temperature and surface emissivity [3]. The surface temperature of Venus is relatively well constrained as a monotonous function of altitude. Emissivity at 1 micron depends strongly on surface composition, in particular abundance of mafic minerals [3]. Mapping the thermal emission of the surface of Venus therefore supplements radar data as it allows to infer relative variation of surface composition. Data Processing This study examines the correlation of VIRTIS images showing a signal of the surface with all known parameters that govern radiance and applies semi empirical relations to remove the respective influences. 1. Stray sunlight is removed by subtraction of a spectrum template scaled to fit radiance at 1.4 ¹m [2] 2. Limb darkening is accounted for using a linear phase function consistent with results of radiative transfer modeling [4]. 3. Cloud opacity is determined from 1.31 ¹m and applied to 1.02 ¹m while accounting for multiple reflections between lower atmosphere and clouds [3]. Result is brightness temperature of thermal emission below the cloud deck but above the lowest 20 km of the atmosphere. 4. Influence of surface temperature and lower atmosphere absorption is determined by correlation of VIRTIS declouded brightness temperature and Magellan Topography data [5]. To further reduce the influence of cloud contrast and increase the signal of the surface, all suitable VIRTIS observations are map projected and stacked to create a map of the southern hemisphere of Venus. Observations and Interpretation As expected from

  14. A study of an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus. Volume 3: Parametric studies and subsystem comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Parametric studies and subsystem comparisons for the orbital radar mapping mission to planet Venus are presented. Launch vehicle requirements and primary orbiter propulsion system requirements are evaluated. The systems parametric analysis indicated that orbit size and orientation interrelated with almost all of the principal spacecraft systems and influenced significantly the definition of orbit insertion propulsion requirements, weight in orbit capability, radar system design, and mapping strategy.

  15. The evolution of co-orbiting material in the orbit of 2201 Oljato from 1980 to 2012 as deduced from Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Venus Express magnetic records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Hairong; Russell, Christopher T.; Wei, Hanying; Zhang, Tielong

    2014-01-01

    Asteroid 2201 Oljato passed through perihelion inside the orbit of Venus near the time of its conjunction with Venus in 1980, 1983, and 1986. During those three years, many interplanetary field enhancements (IFEs) were observed by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) in the longitude sector where the orbit of Oljato lies inside Venus' orbit. We attribute IFEs to clouds of fine-scale, possibly highly charged dust picked up by the solar wind after an interplanetary collision between objects in the diameter range of 10-1000 m. We interpret the increase rate in IFEs at PVO in these years as due to material in Oljato's orbit colliding with material in, or near to, Venus' orbital plane and producing a dust-anchored structure in the interplanetary magnetic field. In March 2012, almost 30 yr later, with Venus Express (VEX) now in orbit, the Oljato-Venus geometry is similar to the one in 1980. Here, we compare IFEs detected by VEX and PVO using the same IFE identification criteria. We find an evolution with time of the IFE rate. In contrast to the results in the 1980s, the recent VEX observations reveal that at solar longitudes in which the Oljato orbit is inside that of Venus, the IFE rate is reduced to the level even below the rate seen at solar longitudes where Oljato's orbit is outside that of Venus. This observation implies that Oljato not only lost its co-orbiting material but also disrupted the "target material," with which the co-orbiting material was colliding, near Venus.

  16. High energy particles at Mars and Venus: Phobos-2, Mars Express and Venus Express observations and their interpretation by hybrid model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna-Lawlor, Susan; Kallio, Esa; Fram, Rudy A.; Alho, Markku; Jarvinen, Riku; Dyadechkin, Sergey; Wedlund, Cyril Simon; Zhang, Tielong; Collinson, Glyn A.; Futaana, Yoshifumi

    2013-04-01

    Mars and Venus can both be reached by Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs). Such high energy particles (protons, multiply charged heavy ions, electrons) penetrate the upper atmospheres of Mars and Venus because, in contrast to Earth, these bodies do not have a significant, global, intrinsic magnetic field to exclude them. One especially well documented, complex and prolonged SEP took in place in early 1989 (Solar Cycle 23) when the Phobos-2 spacecraft was orbiting Mars. This spacecraft had a dedicated high energy particle instrument onboard (SLED), which measured particles with energies in the keV range up to a few tens of MeV. There was in addition a magnetometer as well as solar wind plasma detectors onboard which together provided complementary data to support contemporaneous studies of the background SEP environment. Currently, while the Sun is displaying maximum activity (Solar Cycle 24), Mars and Venus are being individually monitored by instrumentation flown onboard the Mars Express (MEX) and Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft. Neither of these spacecraft carry a high energy particle instrument but their Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA) experiments (ASPERA-3 on MEX and ASPERA-4 on VEX), can be used to study SEPs integrated over E ≥ ~30 MeV which penetrate the instrument hardware and form background counts in the plasma data. In the present work we present SEP events measured at Mars and Venus based on Phobos-2, 1989 data and on, more recent, MEX and VEX (identified from particle background) observations. We further introduce numerical global SEP simulations of the measured events based on 3-D self-consistent hybrid models (HYB-Mars and HYB-Venus). Through comparing the in situ SEP observations with these simulations, new insights are provided into the properties of the measured SEPs as well as into how their individual planetary bow shocks and magnetospheres affect the characteristics of their ambient Martian and Venusian SEP environments.

  17. Impact and Crashworthiness Characteristics of Venera Type Landers for Future Venus Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schroeder, Kevin; Bayandor, Javid; Samareh, Jamshid

    2016-01-01

    landers for future exploration missions to Venus.

  18. Tracking of Mars Express and Venus Express spacecraft with VLBI radio telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molera Calvés, G.; Pogrebenko, S. V.; Wagner, J.; Cimò, G.; Gurvits, L.; Duev, D.

    2010-12-01

    The ESA Mars Express and Venus Express spacecraft (S/C) have been observed for the last two years with the European VLBI radio telescopes of Metsähovi (FI), Wettzell (GE), Yebes (SP), Medicina, Matera, Noto (IT), Puschino (RU) and Onsala (SW). The campaign is in the framework of the assessment study and preparation of the European VLBI Network to the upcoming ESA and other deep space missions. It also offers new opportunities for applications of radio astronomy techniques to planetary science, geophysics and geodesy. Observations are carried out either in single- or multi-dish modes when S/C is locked to the ESA’s ESTRACK ground stations (Cebreros or New Nortia) observing the two way link. Data are recorded locally at the stations using standard VLBI equipment and transferred to the Metsähovi for processing. Further on, the data are transferred from Metsähovi to Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe for further post-analysis. High dynamic range of the S/C signal detections allowed us to determine the apparent topocentric frequency of the S/C carrier line and accompanying ranging tones down to milli-Hz spectral accuracy and to extract the phase of the S/C signal carrier line. With multi-station observations, the respective phases can be calibrated on the per-baseline basis using VLBI phase referencing technique and observations of background quasars close to S/C in their celestial position using far-field VLBI delay model for quasars and near-field model for S/C. The post-analysis of the S/C tracking data enables us to study several parameters of the S/C signals. Of these, the phase fluctuations of the signal can be used for characterization of the interplanetary plasma density fluctuations along the signal propagation line at different spatial and temporal scales and different solar elongations. These fluctuations are well represented by a near-Kolmogorov spectrum. Multi-station observations can distinguish the contributions of propagation effects in the plasma

  19. Generation of Venus reporter knock-in mice revealed MAGI-2 expression patterns in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Ihara, Kan-ichiro; Nishimura, Tomoki; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Ookura, Tetsuya; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2012-01-01

    The membrane-associated guanylate kinase inverted 2 (MAGI-2) protein, which is known to localize at the tight junction of epithelial cells, contains multiple copies of the PDZ and WW domains in its structure. Although the expression pattern of Magi2 mRNA in representative organs has been previously published, its detailed cellular distribution at the histological level remains unknown. Such detailed information would be useful to clarify the biological function of MAGI-2. Here, we report the generation of Venus reporter knock-in mice for Magi2 in which exon 6 of the gene was substituted by the Venus-encoding sequence. We detected the expression of the Venus reporter protein in kidney podocytes from these knock-in mice. We also detected Venus reporter protein expression in spermatids within the testes and within neurons in various regions of the brain. Detection of the reporter protein from these diverse locations indicated the endogenous expression of MAGI-2 in these tissues. Our data suggested a potential function of MAGI-2 in the glomerular filtration process and sperm cell maturation. These data indicate that the Venus reporter knock-in mouse for Magi2 is a useful model for the further study of Magi2 gene function.

  20. Venus's southern polar vortex reveals precessing circulation.

    PubMed

    Luz, D; Berry, D L; Piccioni, G; Drossart, P; Politi, R; Wilson, C F; Erard, S; Nuccilli, F

    2011-04-29

    Initial images of Venus's south pole by the Venus Express mission have shown the presence of a bright, highly variable vortex, similar to that at the planet's north pole. Using high-resolution infrared measurements of polar winds from the Venus Express Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument, we show the vortex to have a constantly varying internal structure, with a center of rotation displaced from the geographic south pole by ~3 degrees of latitude and that drifts around the pole with a period of 5 to 10 Earth days. This is indicative of a nonsymmetric and varying precession of the polar atmospheric circulation with respect to the planetary axis.

  1. Analysis of Solar Cell Efficiency for Venus Atmosphere and Surface Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Haag, Emily

    2013-01-01

    A simplified model of solar power in the Venus environment is developed, in which the solar intensity, solar spectrum, and temperature as a function of altitude is applied to a model of photovoltaic performance, incorporating the temperature and intensity dependence of the open-circuit voltage and the temperature dependence of the bandgap and spectral response of the cell. We use this model to estimate the performance of solar cells for both the surface of Venus and for atmospheric probes at altitudes from the surface up to 60 km. The model shows that photovoltaic cells will produce power even at the surface of Venus.

  2. Venus geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaughlin, W. I.

    1991-05-01

    The Magellan mission to Venus is reviewed. The scientific investigations conducted by 243-day cycles encompass mapping with a constant incidence angle for the radar, observing surface changes from one cycle to the next, and targeting young-looking volcanos. The topography of Venus is defined by the upper boundary of the crust and upwelling from lower domains. Tectonic features such as rift zones, linear mountain belts, ridge belts, and tesserae are described. The zones of tesserae are unique to the planet. Volcanism accounts for about 80 percent of the observed surface, the remainder being volcanic deposits which have been reworked by tectonism or impacts. Magellan data reveal about 900 impact craters with flow-like ejecta resulting from the fall of meteoroids. It is concluded that the age of the Venusian surface varies between 0 and 800 million years. Tectonic and volcanic activities dominate the formation of the Venus topography; such processes as weathering and erosion are relatively unimportant on Venus.

  3. VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topo-graphy And Spectroscopy): A Proposed Discovery Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrekar, Suzanne; Dyar, Melinda; Hensley, Scott; Helbert, Joern; VERITAS Science Team

    2016-10-01

    VERITAS addresses one of the most fundamental questions in planetary evolution: How Earth-like is Venus? These twin planets diverged down different evolutionary paths, yet Venus may hold lessons for past and future Earth, as well as for Earth-sized exoplanets. VERITAS will search for the mineralogical fingerprints of past water, follow up on the discoveries of recent volcanism and the possible young surface age, and reveal the conditions that have prevented plate tectonics from developing. Collectively these questions address how Venus ended up a sulfurous inferno while Earth became habitable.VERITAS carries the Venus Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (VISAR) and the Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM), plus a gravity science investigation.The VISAR X-band radar produces: 1) a global digital elevation model (DEM) with 250 m postings, 5 m height accuracy, 2) Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) global imaging with 30 m pixels, 3) SAR imaging at 15 m for targeted areas, and 4) surface deformation from repeat pass interferometry (RPI) at 2 mm height precision for targeted, potentially active areas. VEM [see Helbert abstract] will measure surface emissivity, look for active volcanic flows and outgassing of water over ~78% of the surface using 6 NIR surface bands within 5 atmospheric windows and 8 bands for calibration of clouds, stray light, and water vapor.VERITAS uses Ka-band uplink and downlink to create a global gravity field with 3 mgal accuracy and 145 km resolution (130 spherical harmonic degree and order or d&o) and providing a significantly higher resolution field with much more uniform resolution than that available from Magellan.VERITAS will create a rich data set of high resolution topography, imaging, spectroscopy, and gravity. These co-registered data sets will be on par with those acquired for Mercury, Mars and the Moon that have revolutionized our understanding of these bodies. VERITAS would be a valuable asset for future lander or probe missions, collecting

  4. In-flight performance and calibration of SPICAV SOIR onboard Venus Express.

    PubMed

    Mahieux, Arnaud; Berkenbosch, Sophie; Clairquin, Roland; Fussen, Didier; Mateshvili, Nina; Neefs, Eddy; Nevejans, Dennis; Ristic, Bojan; Vandaele, Ann Carine; Wilquet, Valérie; Belyaev, Denis; Fedorova, Anna; Korablev, Oleg; Villard, Eric; Montmessin, Franck; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    2008-05-01

    Solar occultation in the infrared, part of the Spectoscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus (SPICAV) instrument onboard Venus Express, combines an echelle grating spectrometer with an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF). It performs solar occultation measurements in the IR region at high spectral resolution. The wavelength range probed allows a detailed chemical inventory of Venus's atmosphere above the cloud layer, highlighting the vertical distribution of gases. A general description of the instrument and its in-flight performance is given. Different calibrations and data corrections are investigated, in particular the dark current and thermal background, the nonlinearity and pixel-to-pixel variability of the detector, the sensitivity of the instrument, the AOTF properties, and the spectral calibration and resolution.

  5. Aeronomy of the Venus upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gérard, J.-C.; Bougher, S. W.; Drossart, P.; Lopez-Valverde, M.; Pätzold, M.; Piccioni, G.

    2014-04-01

    The structure and content of the 'aeronomy' chapter of the Venus III book will be discussed. This chapter will review all recent results obtained from remote sensing of the upper atmosphere with emphasis on non-thermal emissions, global transport, wind, chemistry and composition related to airglow observations and modeling. Measurements of the ionospheric structure and its variability will be described. Data collected with instruments on board the Venus Express missions will be complemented with ground-based observations and results collected during the Cassini Venus flyby. Recent developments in global modeling coupling photochemistry, transport and gravity waves will also be compared with this set of new observations.

  6. A updated view of the Venusian cloud system: synthesis of Venus Express results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satoh, Takehiko

    Physics and chemistry of planet-covering clouds of Venus are the major targets of ESA's Venus Express. The planet is entirely covered by layers of cloud and haze (amount to a total optical thickness of few tens) which are thought to control planet's heat balance, climate, and atmospheric dynamics. Until the time of Pioneer Venus, our knowledge was limited only to "remotely sensible" upper cloud/haze layer or to a few locations where descent probes made direct measurements in the atmosphere. The situation, however, has changed since discovery of so-called atmospheric "windows" (Allen and Crawford, 1984) in the infrared spectrum of Venus. The "windows" are wavelengths of relatively weak CO2 absorption (1.74 and 2.3 µm, for example) at which infrared radiation originating from deeper levels of Venus atmosphere can escape to the space through the dense clouds and atmosphere. Usefulness of observations in these windows to remotely sense the deeper atmosphere was demonstrated during Galileo's flyby (Carlson et al., 1991) although the data were not many. Venus Express is the first spacecraft to fully utilize these windows. VIRTIS utilizes near-infrared windows (distributed in 1 2.4-µm range) to sense clouds and gases in the middle to lower atmosphere. The VIRTIS data have revealed great variability of cloud opacity: particle size and number density of aerosols have been derived with higher accuracy and greater spatial coverage than previous studies. The vertical extent of lower cloud layer (the source of main opacity at 1.74 µm) is found to show discontinuous change at higher latitudes near so-called cold polar collar. SPICAV/SOIR, sensitive to upper haze and near cloud top as it utilizes a lay of light (from a star or the Sun) which grazes the atmosphere, also has found semi-periodic change in aerosol opacity with a large amplitude. Ultraviolet images acquired with VMC show fine structures of clouds (patches, cells, and waves) and their rapid changes. A remarkable

  7. Constraints on Magmatic Diversity on Venus from Terrestrial Analog Crystallization Experiments with Data Implications for Future Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, J.

    2013-12-01

    Igneous diversity,common on the Earth, is possible on Venus based on: the Venera and Vega analyses of rocks on the surface of Venus [1,2], orbital analyses of surface features [3], and thermochemical modeling of Venera and Vega basalts [4]. From these results, Venus and Earth have similar bulk chemistry and diversity of igneous rocks. However, the data from the Venera and Vega landers have large error bars compared with terrestrial geochemical analyses and do not provide mineralogy of the target rock, thereby making direct conclusions from this data challenging [e.g., 1, 2]. In order to make predictions about the types of magmas that could be on Venus, I will rely on crystallization experiments on terrestrial tholeiitic compositions. By comparing experimental results on terrestrial mafic basalts and natural terrestrial suites with the data from Venera and Vega, I constrain the types of igneous rocks that could be present on Venus, as well as the quality of data needed from future missions to distinguish the different suites. Extensive crystallization experiments have been conducted on terrestrial olivine tholeiites at varying pressures, temperatures, and water contents in order to understand the residual liquids produced by igneous differentiation [e.g., 5-10]. If similar processes of magma ponding and differentiation have occurred on Venus, then compositions similar to terrestrial igneous suites would be expected. The potential residual liquids produced by differentiation of a Venus tholeiite, based on experiments on analog compositions, range from rhyolites to phonolites, depending on pressure of crystallization and bulk water content. These experimental results are consistent with the interpretation of the Venera 13 analysis as a silica-undersaturated alkali basalt which suggests deep partial melting of a carbonated source region [11], while the identification of Venera 14 and Vega 2 as tholeiites suggests relatively shallow melting of a lherzolitic or

  8. Venus: Not evil, jus t a bit unfortunate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Fw

    2010-02-01

    The Venus Express mission, currently orbiting Earth's nearest planetary neighbour, has just had its mission extended until the end of 2012 by the European Space Agency (ESA). In December 2010 it will be joined by the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter, which has similar goals of understanding the atmosphere and climate. In this article Fred Taylor looks at what has been learned so far and what remains mysterious about our nearby twin, with its torrid weather and its global warming issues.

  9. The Venus Emissivity Mapper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helbert, Joern; Marcq, Emmanuel; Widemann, Thomas; Mueller, Nils; Kappel, David; Tsang, Constantine; Maturilli, Alessandro; Ferrari, Sabrina; D'Amore, Mario; Dyar, Melinda; Smrekar, Suzanne

    2016-10-01

    The permanent cloud cover of Venus prohibits observations of the surface with traditional imaging techniques over the entire visible spectral range. Fortunately, Venus' atmospheric gases are largely transparent in narrow spectral windows near 1 mm. Ground observers were the first to successfully use these windows, followed by spacecraft observations during the flyby of the Galileo mission on its way to Jupiter and most recently from Venus orbit by ESA's Venus Express with the VMC and VIRTIS instruments. Analyses of VIRTIS measurements have successfully demonstrated that surface information can be extracted from these windows, but the design of the instrument limited its use for more in-depth surface investigations.Based on experience gained from using VIRTIS to observe the surface of Venus and new high temperature laboratory experiments currently performed at the Planetary Spectroscopy Laboratory of DLR, we have designed the multi-spectral Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM). Observations from VIRTIS have revealed surface emissivity variations correlated with geological features, but existing data sets contain only three spectral channels. VEM is optimized to map the surface composition and texture, and to search for active volcanism using the narrow atmospheric windows, building on lessons from prior instrumentation and methodology. It offers an opportunity to gain important information about surface mineralogy and texture by virtue of having six different channels for surface mapping.VEM is focused mainly on observing the surface, mapping in all near-IR atmospheric windows using filters with spectral characteristics optimized for the wavelengths and widths of those windows. It also observes bands necessary for correcting atmospheric effects; these bands also provide valuable scientific data on composition as well as altitude and size distribution of the cloud particles, and on H2O vapor abundance variations in the lowest 15 km of the atmosphere.In combination with a

  10. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Near-tail of Venus: Magnetic Flux Transport, Current Sheet Structure, and Flux Rope Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sarantos, M.; Acuna, M. H.; Anderson, B. J.; Barabash, S.; Benna, M.; Fraenz, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R. E.; Ho, G. C.; Korth, H.; Krimigis, S. M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Raines, J. M.; Solomon, S. C.; Zhang, T.-L.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2008-01-01

    At 23:08 UT on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude (338 km) during its second flyby of Venus en route to its 2011 orbit insertion at Mercury. Whereas no measurements were collected during MESSENGER'S first Venus flyby in October 2006, the Magnetometer (MAG) and the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) operated successfully throughout this second encounter. Venus provides the solar system's best example to date of a solar wind - ionosphere planetary interaction. We present MESSENGER observations of the near-tail of Venus with emphasis on determining the time scales for magnetic flux transport, the structure of the cross-tail current sheet at very low altitudes (approx. 300 to 1000 km), and the nature and origin of a magnetic flux rope observed in the current sheet. The availability of the simultaneous Venus Express upstream measurements provides a unique opportunity to examine the influence of solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field conditions on this planet's solar wind interaction at solar minimum.

  11. PC-403: Pioneer Venus multiprobe spacecraft mission operational characteristics document, volume 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, F. C.

    1978-01-01

    The Pioneer Venus spacecraft primary and backup operational modes and operational limitations for maneuvers, roll references transfer, attitude determination, spacecraft power discipline and spacecraft thermal discipline, are described. The functions and operations of the large and small probes, as well detailed performance in the normal operating modes and backup modes are presented.

  12. Pluto Express: Mission to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giuliano, J. A.

    1996-01-01

    Pluto is the smallest, outermost and last-discovered planet in the Solar System and the only one that has never been visited by a spacecraft from Earth. Pluto and its relatively large satellite Charon are the destinations of a proposed spacecraft mission for the next decade, being developed for NASA by scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  13. Preparation of In-Situ Data from the VEGA Balloon Mission at Venus for Archival on the PDS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Ralph; Crisp, David

    In 1985, the pioneering Soviet VEGA mission deployed two helium balloons into the atmosphere of Venus - the first, and so far only, planetary balloon mission. The balloons were tracked by an international network of radio telescopes, with a slow trickle of in-situ pressure, temperature, optical and wind measurements transmitted directly to Earth over 46 hours until battery depletion. While the key results of the mission were published at the time, the data have not been generally available in numerical form. Here we report an effort to archive the data on the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS). In fact the very low telemetry rate dictated by the direct-to-Earth communication and minimal energy budget on-board demanded heavy data compression/selection, and the reconstruction of the history of altitude and meteorological measurements had to address ambiguities in the lossy compression scheme. These challenges entailed a significant effort as part of the postdoctoral work of D. Crisp, and have not been documented fully in the literature. Here we summarize the mission and the telemetry data, together with the approach used to reconstruct/interpolate the archival dataset. This documentation and numerical files are being prepared for submission to the PDS Atmospheres Node, where it will be available to all.

  14. Ground tests with prototype of CeBr3 active gamma ray spectrometer proposed for future venus surface missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. L.; Sanin, A. B.; Golovin, D. V.; Jun, I.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Shvetsov, V. N.; Timoshenko, G. N.; Vostrukhin, A. A.

    2017-03-01

    The results of a series of ground tests with a prototype of an active gamma-ray spectrometer based on a new generation of scintillation crystal (CeBr3) are presented together with a consideration to its applicability to future Venus landing missions. We evaluated the instrument's capability to distinguish the subsurface elemental composition of primary rock forming elements such as O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, K and Fe. Our study uses heritage from previous ground and field tests and applies to the analysis of gamma lines from activation reaction products generated by a pulsed neutron generator. We have estimated that the expected accuracies achieved in this approach could be as high as 1-10% for the particular chemical element being studied.

  15. Dayside temperatures in the Venus upper atmosphere from Venus Express/VIRTIS nadir measurements at 4.3 μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peralta, J.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Gilli, G.; Piccialli, A.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we analysed nadir observations of atmospheric infrared emissions carried out by VIRTIS, a high-resolution spectrometer on board the European spacecraft Venus Express. We focused on the ro-vibrational band of CO2 at 4.3 μm on the dayside, whose fluorescence originates in the Venus upper mesosphere and above. This is the first time that a systematic sounding of these non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) emissions has been carried out in Venus using this geometry. As many as 143,218 spectra have been analysed on the dayside during the period 14/05/2006 to 14/09/2009. We designed an inversion method to obtain the atmospheric temperature from these non-thermal observations, including a NLTE line-by-line forward model and a pre-computed set of spectra for a set of thermal structures and illumination conditions. Our measurements sound a broad region of the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere of Venus ranging from 10-2-10-5 mb (which in the Venus International Reference Atmosphere, VIRA, is approximately 100-150 km during the daytime) and show a maximum around 195 ± 10 K in the subsolar region, decreasing with latitude and local time towards the terminator. This is in qualitative agreement with predictions by a Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) after a proper averaging of altitudes for meaningful comparisons, although our temperatures are colder than the model by about 25 K throughout. We estimate a thermal gradient of about 35 K between the subsolar and antisolar points when comparing our data with nightside temperatures measured at similar altitudes by SPICAV, another instrument on Venus Express (VEx). Our data show a stable temperature structure through five years of measurements, but we also found episodes of strong heating/cooling to occur in the subsolar region of less than two days. The table with numerical data and averaged temperatures displayed in Fig. 7A provided as a CSV data file is only available at the CDS via

  16. [Construction of venus vector carrying IGFBP7 gene and its expression in K562 cells].

    PubMed

    Wu, Shui-Yan; Hu, Shao-Yan; Cen, Jian-Nong; Chen, Zi-Xing

    2012-02-01

    The aim of this study was to construct venus vector carrying the gene encoding insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7), which provides an effective platform for exploring the function of this gene in leukemia. After digestion by restriction endonuclease, the IGFBP7 gene was recombined with the transfer plasmid. The venus particles were packaged using 293T cells to transfect K562 cells, and identification was performed by means of flow cytometry, RT-PCR and Western blot. The results showed that the sequence of cloned IGFBP7 gene was the same as that in GenBank. The size of product restricted by BamHI was same as the predicted one. GFP expression was observed in 293T and K562 cells with the fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. The expression level of mRNA and protein of IGFBP7 was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blotting in K562 cells. It is concluded that venus vector carrying IGFBP7 gene has been successfully constructed and provides basis for exploring function of IGFBP7 in K562 cells.

  17. Solar wind interaction with Venus and impact on its atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, S.; Futaana, Y.; Wieser, G. S.; Luhmann, J.

    2014-04-01

    We present a review of the solar wind interaction with Venus and how the interaction affects the Venusian atmosphere. The Venus Express observations for more than 8 years (2005-present) and quantitatively new simulation codes substantially advanced physical understanding of the plasma processes in the near-Venus space since the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) mission (1978-1992). The near-Venus space can be divided into several plasma domains: the magnetotail with the plasmasheet, induced magnetosphere, and magnetosheath. The bow shock separates the undisturbed solar wind from the Venus-affected environment. We review the shapes and positions of the boundaries enveloping the main domains and discuss how they are formed by the current systems and pressure balance. In particular, we discuss the morphology and dynamics of the near-Venus magnetotail that was not accessible by PVO. Using the unique Venus Express measurements we discuss the ion acceleration processes and their links to the ionosphere. The focus is given to the Venus' atmosphere erosion associated with the solar wind interaction, both through the energy (ion acceleration) and momentum (atmospheric sputtering) transfer. We review the measurements of the escape rates, their variability with the upstream solar wind conditions and the solar cycle. We emphasize the measurements duirng extreme solar wind conditions as an analogue with nominal conditions for the young Sun. The modeling efforts in this area are also reviewed as they provide a quantitatively approach to understand the impact of the solar wind interaction on the atmospheric evolution. Finally, we compare Venus with other planets of the terrestrial planet group, the Earth and Mars. The Earth, a twin planet of the similar size, is magnetized. Mars, an unmagnetized planet like Venus, possesses by far weaker gravitation to hold its atmospheric gasses. This comparative magnetosphere approach based on the natural solar system laboratory of experiments gives

  18. Atmospheric, Ionospheric, Surface and Radio Propagation Studies With The Venus Express Radio Science Experiment Vera.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häusler, B.; Pätzold, M.; Bird, M. K.; Treumann, R. A.; Simpson, R. A.; Hinson, D.

    The Venus Radio Science experiment (VeRa) onboard the proposed Venus Express Orbiter will make use of the spacecraft radio carrier signals at X/S-band and an ultrastable oscillator reference frequency source (USO, Allan deviation 10 ­13 ) integrated into the onboard transponder system. VeRa will perform : radio sounding of the Venusian ionosphere from 80 km up to the ionopause (300km to 600 km), radio sounding of the neutral atmosphere from the cloud deck (35km to 40 km) to 100 km altitude, measurements of dielectric properties and roughness of the Venusian surface, studies of the propagation of radio waves in the inner solar system at superior and inferior solar conjunctions. We shall discuss the experimental methods (spacecraft occultation and bistatic radar) and conclude on the achievable accuracies and sensitivities. We shall indicate where improvements in comparison to the Pioneer Venus observations can be expected and examine VeRa`s contribution to the understanding of plasmaphysical processes in the solar wind and planetary ionospheric environment. Effects of the solar coronal plasma and the gravitational field of the Sun on the observables (Doppler, group delay) will also be addressed.

  19. Requirements on Atmospheric Entry of Small Probes for Several Planets: Venus, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus in Preparation for the Future ESA Cosmic Vision Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomuta, D.; Rebuffat, D.; Larranaga, J.; Erd, C.; Bavdaz, M.; Falkner, P.

    2011-02-01

    In preparation for the ESA Cosmic Vision new call for medium class missions, a set of entry probes for inner and outer planets have been preliminary investigated by ESA using its Concurrent Design Facility. These Entry Probe missions are hypothetically assumed for launching time 2020-2035. A preliminary design of the probes arrived at a mass of about 300kg. In the following, the study is focused on the entry conditions for each of the planets Venus, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus with the aim to define the conditions for the Entry and Descent System (EDS) and its required technologies. For Venus case, two scenarios where considered: one where the entry probe is released during a typical gravity assist by a large interplanetary mission and another scenario featuring a stand alone mission targeted to Venus. During the entry in Venus atmosphere (mainly composed of CO2 (96.5%) and N2 (3.5%)), the probes are subjected to maximum heat fluxes of 60MW/m2, which is highly demanding in both scenarios. For the outer planet missions, only flyby scenarios with a targeted release of the probe were considered. The entry probes for the outer planets are subjected to heat fluxes above 100MW/m2, which is even more challenging the Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) and therefore requiring the use of special high temperature protection technology to prevent the destruction during the entry. ESA efforts for future missions are directed towards the development of an European Light Ablative Material (ELAM), though used in PEP study only for the Back Cover of the Entry Module. The TPS as well as both radiative and convective heat fluxes need simulations and verification by means of ground facility experiments. Based on the lessons learned from previous mission studies (mission to a near-Earth objects c.f. Marco Polo, Deimos Sample return), an Atmospheric Mars Sample Return is now under study. For sample return missions on return to Earth, a passive re-entry capsule delivering the sample

  20. Venus cloud-tracked and doppler velocimetry winds from CFHT/ESPaDOnS and Venus Express/VIRTIS in April 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machado, Pedro; Widemann, Thomas; Peralta, Javier; Gonçalves, Ruben; Donati, Jean-François; Luz, David

    2017-03-01

    We present new coordinated observations and measurements of the wind amplitude and its variability at Venus cloud-tops based on the two complementary techniques of Ground-based Doppler velocimetry (Widemann et al., 2007, 2008; Machado et al., 2012, 2014) and cloud-tracked winds using ESA Venus Express/ VIRTIS-M imaging at 0.38 μm (Drossart et al., 2007; Sanchez-Lavega et al., 2008; Hueso et al., 2012; Machado et al., 2014). Cloud-tracked winds trace the true atmospheric motion also responsible for the Doppler-Fizeau shift of the solar radiation on the dayside by super-rotating moving cloud-tops with respect to both the Sun and the observer (Machado et al., 2014), and based on this complementarity, we performed a new coordinated campaign in April 2014 combining both Venus Express observations and ground-based Doppler wind measurements on the dayside of Venus' cloud tops at Canada-France-Hawaii telescope at a phase angle Φ =(76 ± 0.3) ∘ . The analysis and results show (1) additional confirmation of the coherence, and complementarity, in the results provided by these techniques, on both spatial and temporal time scales of the two methods; (2) first-time estimation of the meridional component of the wind in another planet using the Doppler velocimetry technique, with evidence of a symmetrical, poleward meridional Hadley flow in both hemispheres of vbarm = 22± 15.5 ms-1; (3) spatial and temporal variability of the zonal flow with latitude and local time, with a significant increase of wind amplitude near the morning terminator previously reported in Feb. 2011 observations.

  1. First Analysis of Densities Inferred from Accelerometer Data on ESA's Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruinsma, S.; Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F.; Marty, J. C.; Svedhem, H.

    2015-12-01

    After completing its primary science mission, ESA decided to do a risky aerobraking campaign with Venus Express (VEx) in order to gain operational experience as well as to measure high-resolution density profiles at high northern latitude. VEx was in a polar and highly eccentric orbit (e=0.84). In the aerobraking period from 24 June to 11 July 2014, the pericenter was at 75°N at an altitude of 130-134 km, and the local solar time drifted from 6.2 to 4.5 hr. One density profile extending about 3° in latitude on both sides of the pericenter has been obtained for each of the 18 consecutive days at 1 Hz sampling, after ingestion of the 8 Hz accelerometer data in the GINS software. The uncertainty in the derived density is the sum of a systematic part due to the uncertainty in Cd, estimated to be 10%, and a noise and bias part due to the accelerometers. Using the accelerometer errors according to specifications, a signal-to-noise ratio of one is reached on average at 139 km altitude. The validity range of the VEx densities can also be evaluated by means of comparison with a model. The VEx-to-VTS3 density ratios were computed for each profile, and these results are consistent with the specified instrument resolution. VEx densities are on average nearly a factor of 2 smaller than VTS3, which is in agreement with Precise Orbit Determination results obtained for higher altitudes (160-170 km). However, variability of up to tens of percent is visible in the form of wavelike activity as well as an altitude-dependent variation that is revealed by ratios that become smaller towards the start and end of the profile. The latter model error hints at an inaccurate the temperature profile, errors in constituent concentrations, or both. The waves can be interpreted as a superposition of two wave trains with wavelengths of around 100 km and 250 km. Average scale heights over the range of observations (130-140 km) are found to be 2.9+/-0.6 km.

  2. Mariner-Venus 1967

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Detailed information on the spacecraft performance, mission operations, and tracking and data acquisition is presented for the Mariner Venus 1967 and Mariner Venus 1967 extension projects. Scientific and engineering results and conclusions are discussed, and include the scientific mission, encounter with Venus, observations near Earth, and cruise phase of the mission. Flight path analysis, spacecraft subsystems, and mission-related hardware and computer program development are covered. The scientific experiments carried by Mariner 5 were ultraviolet photometer, solar plasma probe, helium magnetometer, trapped radiation detector, S-band radio occultation, dual-frequency radio propagation, and celestial mechanics. The engineering experience gained by converting a space Mariner Mars 1964 spacecraft into one flown to Venus is also described.

  3. New Interface for Accessing Archived European Space Agency Planetary Science Data, Such as the New Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment Data Set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grotheer, E.; Barbarisi, I.; Rios, C.; Macfarlane, A. J.; Docasal, R.; Arviset, C.; Besse, S.; Heather, D.; Gonzalez, J.; De Marchi, G.; Martinez, S.; Lim, T.; Fraga, D.

    2015-12-01

    All Venus Express (VEX) instruments delivered their data products according to the Planetary Data System version 3 (PDS3) standard, and the atmospheric drag experiment (ADE) data was no exception. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Planetary Science Archive (PSA), which can be accessed at www.rssd.esa.int/PSA, is being upgraded to make PDS4 data available from newer missions such as ExoMars and BepiColombo. Thus, the PSA development team has been working to ensure that the legacy PDS3 data will be accessible via the new interface as well. We will preview some of the new methods of accessing legacy VEX data via the new interface, with a focus being placed on the ADE data set. We will show how the ADE data can be accessed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and our plans for making this and other data sets compatible with the Virtual European Solar and Planetary Access (VESPA) project for creating a virtual observatory. From February 2010 through March 2014, ESA's Venus Express mission conducted 11 ADE campaigns. During these observation campaigns, VEX's pericenter was in the range of 165 to 190 km, while the spacecraft was near Venus' North pole, and the entire spacecraft was used to make in situ measurements of the atmospheric density. This was done by rotating the solar panels in a manner that somewhat resembles a windmill. Also, VEX 's attitude and orbit control system was tasked with maintaining the spacecraft in a 3-axis stabilized mode during these pericenter passes. The torques that the reaction wheels had to exert to maintain this attitude were then analyzed to yield density readings.

  4. ESA Venus Entry Probe Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vandenBerg, M. L.; Falkner, P.; Phipps, A.; Underwood, J. C.; Lingard, J. S.; Moorhouse, J.; Kraft, S.; Peacock, A.

    2005-01-01

    The Venus Entry Probe is one of ESA s Technology Reference Studies (TRS). The purpose of the Technology Reference Studies is to provide a focus for the development of strategically important technologies that are of likely relevance for future scientific missions. The aim of the Venus Entry Probe TRS is to study approaches for low cost in-situ exploration of Venus and other planetary bodies with a significant atmosphere. In this paper, the mission objectives and an outline of the mission concept of the Venus Entry Probe TRS are presented.

  5. Scientific investigations of the Mars Express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chicarro, A. F.

    2003-04-01

    The ESA Mars Express mission will be launched in May 2003 from Baikonur onboard a Russian Soyuz/Fregat launcher. The mission comprises an orbiter spacecraft to be placed in a quasi-polar martian orbit, with closest approach at 250 km and a mission lifetime of one martian year (687 days), and the small Beagle-2 probe to land at Isidis Planitia in December 2003 and operate on the martian surface for about six months. In addition to studying the surface, subsurface and atmosphere of Mars, the main themes of the mission are the search for water at present and the search for possible signs of life in the history of the planet. The specific scientific objectives and experiments of the orbiter are: global high-resolution imaging and imaging of selected areas with super-resolution (HRSC), global IR mineralogical mapping (OMEGA), sounding of the subsurface structure down to a few km (MARSIS), global atmospheric circulation study and mapping of the atmospheric composition (PFS, SPICAM), study of the interaction of the interplanetary medium with the upper atmosphere (ASPERA), as well as radio science (MaRS). The goals of the Beagle-2 lander are: geology, geochemistry, meteorology and exobiology of the landing site. Beagle-2 will use a suite of imagers, organic and mineral chemistry analysers, environmental sensors and robotic devices to sample soil and rocks on and below the surface. Collaboration with the Japanese Nozomi mission will diversify the scope and enhance the scientific return of both missions, as they are complementary to each other in terms of orbits and science goals. For more details on Mars Express and its Beagle-2 lander: http://sci.esa.int/marsexpress/ and http://www.beagle2.com

  6. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter entry phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangeway, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    In October, 1992 the Pioneer Venus Orbiter entered the atmosphere of Venus, ending nearly 14 years of observations at Venus. Prior to the entry into the atmosphere and subsequent loss of the spacecraft careful management of spacecraft resources had allowed the acquisition of much low altitude data over the nightside of the planet. The long duration of the Pioneer Venus mission has enabled us to study the ionosphere and atmosphere of Venus under different levels of solar activity.

  7. Geographic distribution of zonal wind and UV albedo at cloud top level from VMC camera on Venus Express: Influence of Venus topography through stationary gravity waves vertical propagation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Khatunstsev, Igor; Hauchecorne, Alain; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Marcq, Emmanuel; Lebonnois, Sébastien; Patsaeva, Marina; Turin, Alexander

    2015-04-01

    UV images (at 365 nm) of Venus cloud top collected with VMC camera on board Venus Express allowed to derive a large number of wind measurements at altitude 67±2 km from tracking of cloud features in the period 2006-2012. Both manual (45,600) and digital (391,600) individual wind measurements over 127 orbits were analyzed showing various patterns with latitude and local time. A new longitude-latitude geographic map of the zonal wind shows a conspicuous region of strongly decreased zonal wind, a remarkable feature that was unknown up to now. While the average zonal wind near equator (from 5°S to 15°s) is -100.9 m/s in the longitude range 200-330°, it reaches -83.4 m/s in the range 60-100°, a difference of 17.5 m/s. When compared to the altimetry map of Venus, it is found that the zonal wind pattern is well correlated with the underlying relief in the region of Aphrodite Terra, with a downstream shift of about 30° (˜3,200 km). We interpret this pattern as the result of stationary gravity waves produced at ground level by the up lift of air when the horizontal wind encounters a mountain slope. These waves can propagate up to cloud top level, break there and transfer their momentum to the zonal flow. A similar phenomenon is known to operate on Earth with an influence on mesospheric winds. The LMD-GCM for Venus was run with or without topography, with and without a parameterization of gravity waves and does not display such an observed change of velocity near equator. The cloud albedo map at 365 nm varies also in longitude and latitude. We speculate that it might be the result of increased vertical mixing associated to wave breaking, and decreased abundance of the UV absorber which makes the contrast in images. The impact of these new findings on current super rotation theories remains to be assessed. This work was triggered by the presence of a conspicuous peak at 117 days in a time series of wind measurements. This is the length of the solar day as seen at the

  8. Revealing the face of Venus: Magellan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    An overview of the Magellan spacecraft and mission is presented. Topics covered include: a description of the Magellan spacecraft; Venus geology; Venus gravity; synthetic aperture radar; and radar sensing.

  9. Habitats for life in the Venusian Environment? Can the VENUS EXPRESS payload answer?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, C.

    2003-04-01

    The Venusian conditions are unique in the solar system. Venus abounds in molecules which could feed a life form except that the usual missing factor, energy, is present in excessive amounts from both active geothermic phenomena and from the nearby solar radiation trapped in a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. Its surface conditions are hotter than the best practiced in hospital sterilisation; volcanism injects highly toxic gases which in the absence of water can accumulate in the atmosphere. Its upper atmosphere lays bare to solar radiation with only carbon dioxide to act as a confirmed EUV filter, so any consideration of life might seem excessive compared to what was known from life on earth before extremophile bacterias were discovered in dark undersea high temperature sulphur rich volcanic vents. However, some regions of the atmosphere might show conditions similar to the earth surface and could be a habitat of earth like microbial life. A synergy between the different atmospheric instruments of the VENUS-Express payload: SPICAM, VIRTIS and PFS can provide the way to probe the actual environmental conditions of this region and to check its capabilities of preserving an extant life or providing nutrients to a new one.

  10. Technology perspectives in the future exploration of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, James A.; Balint, Tibor S.; Chassefiere, Eric; Kolawa, Elizabeth A.

    Science goals to understand the origin, history and environment of Venus have been driving international space exploration missions for over 40 years. Today, Venus is still identified as a high priority science target in NASA's Solar System Exploration Roadmap, and clearly fits scientific objectives of ESA's Cosmic Vision Program in addition to the ongoing Venus Express mission, while JAXA is planning to launch its own Venus Climate Orbiter. Technology readiness has often been the pivotal factor in mission prioritization. Missions in all classes—small, medium or large—could be designed as orbiters with remote sensing capabilities, however, the desire for scientific advancements beyond our current knowledge point to in-situ exploration of Venus at the surface and lower atmosphere, involving probes, landers, and aerial platforms. High altitude balloons could circumnavigate Venus repeatedly; deep probes could operate for extended periods utilizing thermal protection technologies, pressure vessel designs and advancements in high temperature electronics. In situ missions lasting for over an Earth day could employ a specially designed dynamic Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) power system, that could provide both electric power and active thermal control to the spacecraft. An air mobility platform, possibly employing metallic bellows, could allow for all axis control, long traversing and surface access at multiple desired locations, thus providing an advantage over static lander or rover based architectures. Sample return missions are also featured in all planetary roadmaps. The Venus exploration plans over the next three decades are anticipated to greatly contribute to our understanding of this planet, which subsequently would advance our overall knowledge about Solar System history and habitability.

  11. Priorities for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaze, L. S.; Beauchamp, P. M.; Chin, G.; Crisp, D.; Grimm, R. E.; Herrick, R. R.; Johnston, S.; Limaye, S. S.; Smrekar, S. E.; Ocampo, A.; Thompson, T. W.

    2013-12-01

    Venus remains one of the most enigmatic bodies in our Solar System. Important questions remain regarding the origin and evolution of the atmosphere, the history of the surface and interior, and how the surface and atmosphere interact. In a broader context, understanding Venus has implications for understanding the evolution of terrestrial planets in our Solar System as well as for interpreting the growing set of observations of extra-solar planets. The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG), established in 2005, is chartered by NASA's Planetary Science Division and reports its findings to the NASA Advisory Council. Open to all interested scientists, VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurement requirements, including especially recommendations in the NRC Decadal Survey and the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap. At the last general meeting in November 2012, VEXAG resolved to update the scientific priorities and strategies for Venus exploration. To achieve this goal, three major tasks were defined for 2013, (1) update the document prioritizing Goals, Objectives and Investigations for Venus Exploration, (2) develop a Roadmap for Venus exploration that is consistent with VEXAG priorities as well as Planetary Decadal Survey priorities, and (3) develop a white paper on technologies for Venus missions. Proposed versions of all three documents were presented at the VEXAG general meeting in November 2013. Here, we present the findings and final versions of all three documents for community comment and feedback. A follow-on Workshop on Venus Exploration Targets is also being planned for the early summer of 2014. The workshop will provide a forum for the Venus science community to discuss approaches for addressing high priority investigations. Participants will be encouraged to present their ideas for specific targets on Venus (interior, surface and atmosphere) as well as to present specific data

  12. Mars Express and Venus Express multi-point observations of geoeffective solar flare events in December 2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Futaana, Y.; Barabash, S.; Yamauchi, M.; McKenna-Lawlor, S.; Lundin, R.; Luhmann, J. G.; Brain, D.; Carlsson, E.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Winningham, J. D.; Frahm, R. A.; Wurz, P.; Holmström, M.; Gunell, H.; Kallio, E.; Baumjohann, W.; Lammer, H.; Sharber, J. R.; Hsieh, K. C.; Andersson, H.; Grigoriev, A.; Brinkfeldt, K.; Nilsson, H.; Asamura, K.; Zhang, T. L.; Coates, A. J.; Linder, D. R.; Kataria, D. O.; Curtis, C. C.; Sandel, B. R.; Fedorov, A.; Mazelle, C.; Thocaven, J.-J.; Grande, M.; Koskinen, Hannu E. J.; Sales, T.; Schmidt, W.; Riihela, P.; Kozyra, J.; Krupp, N.; Woch, J.; Fränz, M.; Dubinin, E.; Orsini, S.; Cerulli-Irelli, R.; Mura, A.; Milillo, A.; Maggi, M.; Roelof, E.; Brandt, P.; Szego, K.; Scherrer, J.; Bochsler, P.

    2008-05-01

    In December 2006, a single active region produced a series of proton solar flares, with X-ray class up to the X9.0 level, starting on 5 December 2006 at 10:35 UT. A feature of this X9.0 flare is that associated MeV particles were observed at Venus and Mars by Venus Express (VEX) and Mars Express (MEX), which were ˜80° and ˜125° east of the flare site, respectively, in addition to the Earth, which was ˜79° west of the flare site. On December 5, 2006, the plasma instruments ASPERA-3 and ASPERA-4 on board MEX and VEX detected a large enhancement in their respective background count levels. This is a typical signature of solar energetic particle (SEP) events, i.e., intensive MeV particle fluxes. The timings of these enhancements were consistent with the estimated field-aligned travel time of particles associated with the X9.0 flare that followed the Parker spiral to reach Venus and Mars. Coronal mass ejection (CME) signatures that might be related to the proton flare were twice identified at Venus within <43 and <67 h after the flare. Although these CMEs did not necessarily originate from the X9.0 flare on December 5, 2006, they most likely originated from the same active region because these characteristics are very similar to flare-associated CMEs observed on the Earth. These observations indicate that CME and flare activities on the invisible side of the Sun may affect terrestrial space weather as a result of traveling more than 90° in both azimuthal directions in the heliosphere. We would also like to emphasize that during the SEP activity, MEX data indicate an approximately one-order of magnitude enhancement in the heavy ion outflow flux from the Martian atmosphere. This is the first observation of the increase of escaping ion flux from Martian atmosphere during an intensive SEP event. This suggests that the solar EUV flux levels significantly affect the atmospheric loss from unmagnetized planets.

  13. Entry at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Smith, Brandon

    2016-01-01

    This is lecture to be given at the IPPW 2016, as part of the 2 day course on Short Course on Destination Venus: Science, Technology and Mission Architectures. The attached presentation material is intended to be introduction to entry aspects of Venus in-situ robotic missions. The presentation introduces the audience to the aerodynamic and aerothermodynamic aspects as well as the loads, both aero and thermal, generated during entry. The course touches upon the system design aspects such as TPS design and both high and low ballistic coefficient entry system concepts that allow the science payload to be protected from the extreme entry environment and yet meet the mission objectives.

  14. Venus - Ushas Mons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This area of Venus northeast of Ushas Mons measures 40 by 112 kilometers (25 by 70 miles) and shows evidence of possible explosive volcanism. A surface deposit that shows brightly in radar extends and broadens away from the 1 kilometer diameter (0.6 mile diameter) crater in the middle of the image. The deposit is brighter near the crater, fades gradually into the plains and ends about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater. The underlying crisscross pattern becomes more visible away from the crater as the covering deposit thins out. These characteristics are typical of deposits on Earth formed by fallout from volcanic explosion plumes. A similar but darker deposit extends to the right of the crater. The crater on the western edge of the image also shows similar deposits. North is at the top of the image. The Magellan Mission Magellan is a NASA spacecraft mission to map the surface of Venus with imaging radar. The basic scientific instrument is a synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, which can look through the thick clouds perpetually shielding the surface of Venus. Magellan is in orbit around Venus which completes one turn around its axis in 243 Earth days. That period of time, one Venus day, is the length of Magellan's primary mission. During that time Magellan will map about 80 percent of the Venus surface. Subsequent missions of equal duration will provide complete mapping of the planet. Magellan was launched May 4, 1989, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and went into orbit around Venus August 10, 1990. The spacecraft completes one orbit every three hours and 15 minutes, passing as close to the planet as 294 kilometers (183 miles) and as far away from Venus as 8,472 kilometers (5,265 miles). The smallest objects seen in this image measure approximately 120 meters (400 feet).

  15. Progress towards a Venus reference cloud model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colin; Ignatiev, Nikolay; Marcq, Emmanuel

    Venus is completely enveloped by clouds. The main cloud layers stretch from altitudes of 48 - 75 km, with additional tenuous hazes found at altitudes 30 - 100 km. Clouds play a crucial role in governing atmospheric circulation, chemistry and climate on all planets, but particularly so on Venus due to the optical thickness of the atmosphere. The European Space Agency’s Venus Express (VEx) satellite has carried out a wealth of observations of Venus clouds since its arrival at Venus in April 2006. Many VEx observations are relevant to cloud science - from imagers and spectrometers to solar, stellar and radio occultation - each covering different altitude ranges, spectral ranges and atmospheric constituents. We have formed an International Team at the International Space Science Institute to bring together scientists from each of the relevant Venus Express investigation teams as well as from previous missions, as well as those developing computational and analytical models of clouds and hazes. The aims of the project are (1) to create self-consistent reference cloud/haze models which capture not only a mean cloud structure but also its main modes of variability; and (2) to bring together modelers and observers, to reach an understanding of clouds and hazes on Venus which matches all observables and is physically consistent. Our approach is to first to assemble an averaged cloud profile for low latitudes, showing how cloud number abundances and other observables vary as a function of altitude, consistent with all available observations. In a second step, we will expand this work to produce a reference cloud profile which varies with latitude and local solar time, as well as optical thickness of the cloud. We will present our status in progressing towards this goal. We acknowledge the support of the International Space Science Institute of Berne, Switzerland, in hosting our Team’s meetings.

  16. Electrophysiological characteristics of inhibitory neurons of the prepositus hypoglossi nucleus as analyzed in Venus-expressing transgenic rats.

    PubMed

    Shino, M; Kaneko, R; Yanagawa, Y; Kawaguchi, Y; Saito, Y

    2011-12-01

    The identification and characterization of excitatory and inhibitory neurons are significant steps in understanding neural network functions. In this study, we investigated the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of neurons in the prepositus hypoglossi nucleus (PHN), a brainstem structure that is involved in gaze holding, using whole-cell recordings in brainstem slices from vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT)-Venus transgenic rats, in which inhibitory neurons express the fluorescent protein Venus. To characterize the intrinsic properties of these neurons, we recorded afterhyperpolarization (AHP) profiles and firing patterns from Venus-expressing [Venus⁺] and Venus-non-expressing [Venus⁻] PHN neurons. Although both types of neurons showed a wide variety of AHP profiles and firing patterns, oscillatory firing was specific to Venus⁺ neurons, while a firing pattern showing only a few spikes was specific to Venus⁻ neurons. In addition, AHPs without a slow component and delayed spike generation were preferentially displayed by Venus⁺ neurons, whereas a firing pattern with constant interspike intervals was preferentially displayed by Venus⁻ neurons. We evaluated the mRNAs expression of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65, GAD67) and glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2) to determine whether the recorded Venus⁺ neurons were GABAergic or glycinergic. Of the 67 Venus⁺ neurons tested, GlyT2 expression alone was detected in only one neuron. Approximately 40% (28/67) expressed GAD65 and/or GAD67 (GABAergic neuron), and the remainder (38/67) expressed both GAD(s) and GlyT2 (GABA&GLY neuron). These results suggest that most inhibitory PHN neurons use either GABA or both GABA and glycine as neurotransmitters. Although the overall distribution of firing patterns in GABAergic neurons was similar to that of GABA&GLY neurons, only GABA&GLY neurons exhibited a firing pattern with a long first interspike interval. These differential electrophysiological properties will be useful

  17. Vesper - Venus Chemistry and Dynamics Orbiter - A NASA Discovery Mission Proposal: Submillimeter Investigation of Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Vesper conducts a focused investigation of the chemistry and dynamics of the middle atmosphere of our sister planet- from the base of the global cloud cover to the lower thermosphere. The middle atmosphere controls the stability of the Venus climate system. Vesper determines what processes maintain the atmospheric chemical stability, cause observed variability of chemical composition, control the escape of water, and drive the extreme super-rotation. The Vesper science investigation provides a unique perspective on the Earth environment due to the similarities in the middle atmosphere processes of both Venus and the Earth. Understanding key distinctions and similarities between Venus and Earth will increase our knowledge of how terrestrial planets evolve along different paths from nearly identical initial conditions.

  18. A Systems Identification based approach to the detection of spacecraft generated interference in Venus Express magnetometer data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, S. A.; Zhang, T.; Balikhin, M.; Delva, M.; Alleyne, H.

    2006-12-01

    It is a challenging problem to make accurate in situ measurements of the local magnetic field vector from a non-magnetically clean spacecraft. It is shown how fuzzy logic and nonlinear identification techniques can be applied to two point measurements to identify and correct for spacecraft contributions in the measured field vector. The techniques developed have been applied to data returned from the VEXMAG instrument onboard Venus Express.

  19. Detailed expression pattern of aldolase C (Aldoc) in the cerebellum, retina and other areas of the CNS studied in Aldoc-Venus knock-in mice.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Hirofumi; Aoki, Hanako; Ajioka, Itsuki; Yamazaki, Maya; Abe, Manabu; Oh-Nishi, Arata; Sakimura, Kenji; Sugihara, Izumi

    2014-01-01

    Aldolase C (Aldoc, also known as "zebrin II"), a brain type isozyme of a glycolysis enzyme, is expressed heterogeneously in subpopulations of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) that are arranged longitudinally in a complex striped pattern in the cerebellar cortex, a pattern which is closely related to the topography of input and output axonal projections. Here, we generated knock-in Aldoc-Venus mice in which Aldoc expression is visualized by expression of a fluorescent protein, Venus. Since there was no obvious phenotypes in general brain morphology and in the striped pattern of the cerebellum in mutants, we made detailed observation of Aldoc expression pattern in the nervous system by using Venus expression in Aldoc-Venus heterozygotes. High levels of Venus expression were observed in cerebellar PCs, cartwheel cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, sensory epithelium of the inner ear and in all major types of retinal cells, while moderate levels of Venus expression were observed in astrocytes and satellite cells in the dorsal root ganglion. The striped arrangement of PCs that express Venus to different degrees was carefully traced with serial section alignment analysis and mapped on the unfolded scheme of the entire cerebellar cortex to re-identify all individual Aldoc stripes. A longitudinally striped boundary of Aldoc expression was first identified in the mouse flocculus, and was correlated with the climbing fiber projection pattern and expression of another compartmental marker molecule, heat shock protein 25 (HSP25). As in the rat, the cerebellar nuclei were divided into the rostrodorsal negative and the caudoventral positive portions by distinct projections of Aldoc-positive and negative PC axons in the mouse. Identification of the cerebellar Aldoc stripes in this study, as indicated in sample coronal and horizontal sections as well as in sample surface photos of whole-mount preparations, can be referred to in future experiments.

  20. Venus cartography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Kirk, R. L.; Edwards, Kathleen; Morgan, H. F.

    1994-01-01

    The entire surface of the planet Venus is being mapped at global and regional scales (1:50 million through 1:1.5 million) with synthetic aperture radar (SAR), radar altimeter, and radiometer measurements of physical properties from the Magellan spacecraft. The mapping includes SAR image mosaics, shaded relief maps, and topographic contour overlays made from altimetry data and by radargrammetric methods. Methods used include new techniques of radar image processing that became operational as a result of the Magellan mission. Special cartographic support products prepared by the USGS include: synthetic stereograms, color thematic maps of physical properties, digital shaded relief maps from opposite-look SAR, and topographic maps by radargrammetry. The area being mapped (at a resolution of 75 m/pixel) is roughly equivalent to that of Earth, including seafloors. The mapping is designed to support geologic and geophysical investigations.

  1. Visualization of RelB expression and activation at the single-cell level during dendritic cell maturation in Relb-Venus knock-in mice.

    PubMed

    Seki, Takao; Yamamoto, Mami; Taguchi, Yuu; Miyauchi, Maki; Akiyama, Nobuko; Yamaguchi, Noritaka; Gohda, Jin; Akiyama, Taishin; Inoue, Jun-ichiro

    2015-12-01

    RelB is activated by the non-canonical NF-κB pathway, which is crucial for immunity by establishing lymphoid organogenesis and B-cell and dendritic cell (DC) maturation. To elucidate the mechanism of the RelB-mediated immune cell maturation, a precise understanding of the relationship between cell maturation and RelB expression and activation at the single-cell level is required. Therefore, we generated knock-in mice expressing a fusion protein between RelB and fluorescent protein (RelB-Venus) from the Relb locus. The Relb(Venus/Venus) mice developed without any abnormalities observed in the Relb(-/-) mice, allowing us to monitor RelB-Venus expression and nuclear localization as RelB expression and activation. Relb(Venus/Venus) DC analyses revealed that DCs consist of RelB(-), RelB(low) and RelB(high) populations. The RelB(high) population, which included mature DCs with projections, displayed RelB nuclear localization, whereas RelB in the RelB(low) population was in the cytoplasm. Although both the RelB(low) and RelB(-) populations barely showed projections, MHC II and co-stimulatory molecule expression were higher in the RelB(low) than in the RelB(-) splenic conventional DCs. Taken together, our results identify the RelB(low) population as a possible novel intermediate maturation stage of cDCs and the Relb(Venus/Venus) mice as a useful tool to analyse the dynamic regulation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway.

  2. Characterizing Volcanic Eruptions on Venus: Some Realistic (?) Scenarios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofan, E. R.; Glaze, L. S.; Grinspoon, D. H.

    2011-01-01

    When Pioneer Venus arrived at Venus in 1978, it detected anomalously high concentrations of SO2 at the top of the troposphere, which subsequently declined over the next five years. This decline in SO2 was linked to some sort of dynamic process, possibly a volcanic eruption. Observations of SO2 variability have persisted since Pioneer Venus. More recently, scientists from the Venus Express mission announced that the SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus) instrument had measured varying amounts of SO2 in the upper atmosphere; VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) measured no similar variations in the lower atmosphere (ESA, 4 April, 2008). In addition, Fegley and Prinn stated that venusian volcanoes must replenish SO2 to the atmosphere, or it would react with calcite and disappear within 1.9 my. Fegley and Tremain suggested an eruption rate on the order of approx 1 cubic km/year to maintain atmospheric SO2; Bullock and Grinspoon posit that volcanism must have occurred within the last 20-50 my to maintain the sulfuric acid/water clouds on Venus. The abundance of volcanic deposits on Venus and the likely thermal history of the planet suggest that it is still geologically active, although at rates lower than Earth. Current estimates of resurfacing rates range from approx 0.01 cubic km/yr to approx 2 cubic km/yr. Demonstrating definitively that Venus is still volcanically active, and at what rate, would help to constrain models of evolution of the surface and interior, and help to focus future exploration of Venus.

  3. Seasons on Venus - cloud cover signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Markiewicz, Wojciech; Krauss, Robert

    2015-04-01

    With the smallest obliquity and orbital eccentricity of any planet around the Sun, Venus is not generally expected to show any seasonal variations in its atmosphere. Careful analysis of the global images obtained by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on board European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter from 12 June 2006 orbit 24) till 15 September 2014 (orbit 3043) reveal short term variations and a detectable periodic variation in the normalized intensity (reflectance) as well as in unit optical depth at a fixed local time at low latitudes as well as at high latitudes. VMC ultraviolet images were brightness normalized using Minnaert Law and the brightness at the sub-solar meridian at different latitudes in the southern hemisphere. The unit optical dept was inferred by precision location of the limb location in images acquired during the apoapsis portion of the orbit at range greater than ~ 30,000 km from Venus center. The temporal changes of the unit optical depth was monitored at fixed solar zenith angles and latitude. The seasonal signature is more pronounced at high latitudes compared to low latitudes. The data suggest that the variations in insolation due to heliocentric range and the small obliquity are responsible for the periodic changes in the Venus cloud cover. Concurrent changes in the cloud changes are also observed at other three wavelengths (550, 950 and 1050 nm) at which VMC obtained images, but the number of images at these wavelengths is much smaller. A secular decrease in the image brightness is observed over the life of the Venus Express mission, most likely due to the degradation of the some of the optical/sensor elements.

  4. Magellan: The unveiling of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the United States and the Soviet Union sent the Pioneer Venus and Venera spacecraft, respectively, to study Venus more closely and to image its surface with radar. These missions have answered many questions about Venus, but many more questions remain unanswered about the extent to which Venus' surface was shaped by volcanoes, plate tectonics, impact craters, and water and wind erosion. To help answer these remaining questions a new radar imaging spacecraft Magellan will be launched from the Space Shuttle. Magellan will spend eight months mapping most of the planet at a resolution nearly ten times better than any previous views of the surface. The mission of Magellan, the radar equipment, orbiting of Venus, planetary imaging, and surface exploration are discussed.

  5. VIRTIS on Venus Express thermal emission spectra near 1μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, Nils; Tsang, Constantine; Helbert, Joern; Smrekar, Suzanne; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Drossart, Pierre

    2016-10-01

    Thermal emission from the surface of Venus is observable through narrow spectral windows close to 1μm. Surface temperature is strongly constrained by surface elevation, due to the thick and dense atmosphere. The data from Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer VIRTIS on Venus Express together with altimetry constrain surface emissivity. In VIRTIS observations at 1.02μm, strongly deformed highland plateaus (tesserae) appear to have a lower emissivity consistent with continental crust, an interpretation that implies existence of an early ocean. Comparison between the Magellan stereo digital elevation model (DEM) and altimetry shows that the altimetry height error in rough tesserae greatly exceeds the formal error. In the one tesserae outlier covered by altimetry, DEM, and VIRTIS, the height error could account for the observed emissivity variation. The radiances observed at 1.10 and 1.18μm have a different response to topography, mostly due to spectrally varying absorption in the overlying atmospheric column. Thus if the tesserae have the same emissivity as volcanic plains, its spectrum should be the same as that of plains of the correct surface elevation. In order to investigate this statistically, we create a database of all long exposure duration VIRTIS spectra in the range of 1 - 1.4μm. The spectra are corrected for the ubiquitous straylight from the dayside, based on analysis of spectra showing deep space. Because the 1.10 and 1.18μm peaks are narrow compared to the variation of instrument spectral registration, we fit each spectrum with a synthetic spectrum from an atmospheric radiative transfer model, using wavelength offset and bandwidths as parameters in addition to atmospheric variables. This dataset of ~28 million thermal emission spectra spans a wide range of southern latitudes and night local times, and thus may be useful for studies beyond the question of surface emissivity. A portion of this research was conducted at the Jet Propulsion

  6. In situ observations of waves in Venus’s polar lower thermosphere with Venus Express aerobraking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller-Wodarg, Ingo C. F.; Bruinsma, Sean; Marty, Jean-Charles; Svedhem, Håkan

    2016-08-01

    Waves are ubiquitous phenomena found in oceans and atmospheres alike. From the earliest formal studies of waves in the Earth’s atmosphere to more recent studies on other planets, waves have been shown to play a key role in shaping atmospheric bulk structure, dynamics and variability. Yet, waves are difficult to characterize as they ideally require in situ measurements of atmospheric properties that are difficult to obtain away from Earth. Thus, we have incomplete knowledge of atmospheric waves on planets other than our own, and we are thereby limited in our ability to understand and predict planetary atmospheres. Here we report the first ever in situ observations of atmospheric waves in Venus’s thermosphere (130-140 km) at high latitudes (71.5°-79.0°). These measurements were made by the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) during aerobraking from 24 June to 11 July 2014. As the spacecraft flew through Venus’s atmosphere, deceleration by atmospheric drag was sufficient to obtain from accelerometer readings a total of 18 vertical density profiles. We infer an average temperature of T = 114 +/- 23 K and find horizontal wave-like density perturbations and mean temperatures being modulated at a quasi-5-day period.

  7. Chemical Weathering Kinetics of Basalt on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of this project was to experimentally measure the kinetics for chemical weathering reactions involving basalt on Venus. The thermochemical reactions being studied are important for the CO2 atmosphere-lithosphere cycle on Venus and for the atmosphere-surface reactions controlling the oxidation state of the surface of Venus. These reactions include the formation of carbonate and scapolite minerals, and the oxidation of Fe-bearing minerals. These experiments and calculations are important for interpreting results from the Pioneer Venus, Magellan, Galileo flyby, Venera, and Vega missions to Venus, for interpreting results from Earth-based telescopic observations, and for the design of new Discovery class (e.g., VESAT) and New Millennium missions to Venus such as geochemical landers making in situ elemental and mineralogical analyses, and orbiters, probes and balloons making spectroscopic observations of the sub-cloud atmosphere of Venus.

  8. Venus within ESA probe reach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-03-01

    Venus Express mission controllers at the ESA Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany are making intensive preparations for orbit insertion. This comprises a series of telecommands, engine burns and manoeuvres designed to slow the spacecraft down from a velocity of 29000 km per hour relative to Venus, just before the first burn, to an entry velocity some 15% slower, allowing the probe to be captured into orbit around the planet. The spacecraft will have to ignite its main engine for 50 minutes in order to achieve deceleration and place itself into a highly elliptical orbit around the planet. Most of its 570 kg of onboard propellant will be used for this manoeuvre. The spacecraft’s solar arrays will be positioned so as to reduce the possibility of excessive mechanical load during engine ignition. Over the subsequent days, a series of additional burns will be done to lower the orbit apocentre and to control the pericentre. The aim is to end up in a 24-hour orbit around Venus early in May. The Venus orbit injection operations can be followed live at ESA establishments, with ESOC acting as focal point of interest (see attached programme). In all establishments, ESA specialists will be on hand for interviews. ESA TV will cover this event live from ESOC in Darmstadt. The live transmission will be carried free-to-air. For broadcasters, complete details of the various satellite feeds are listed at http://television.esa.int. The event will be covered on the web at venus.esa.int. The website will feature regular updates, including video coverage of the press conference and podcast from the control room at ESA’s Operations Centre. Media representatives wishing to follow the event at one of the ESA establishments listed below are requested to fill in the attached registration form and fax it back to the place of their choice. For further information, please contact: ESA Media Relations Division Tel : +33(0)1.53.69.7155 Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690 Venus Express

  9. Geologic Analysis of the Surface Thermal Emission Images Taken by the VMC Camera, Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Shalygin, E. V.; Titov, D. V.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Scholten, F.; Roatsch, Th.; Fiethe, B.; Osterloh, B.; Michalik, H.; Kreslavsky, M. A.; Moroz, L. V.

    2010-03-01

    Analysis of Venus Monitoring Camera 1-µm images and surface emission modeling showed apparent emissivity at Chimon-mana tessera and shows that Tuulikki volcano is higher than that of the adjacent plains; Maat Mons did not show any signature of ongoing volcanism.

  10. On ion escape from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvinen, R.

    2011-04-01

    This doctoral thesis is about the solar wind influence on the atmosphere of the planet Venus. A numerical plasma simulation model was developed for the interaction between Venus and the solar wind to study the erosion of charged particles from the Venus upper atmosphere. The developed model is a hybrid simulation where ions are treated as particles and electrons are modelled as a fluid. The simulation was used to study the solar wind induced ion escape from Venus as observed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express and NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft. Especially, observations made by the ASPERA-4 particle instrument onboard Venus Express were studied. The thesis consists of an introductory part and four peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals. In the introduction Venus is presented as one of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System and the main findings of the work are discussed within the wider context of planetary physics.Venus is the closest neighbouring planet to the Earth and the most earthlike planet in its size and mass orbiting the Sun. Whereas the atmosphere of the Earth consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, Venus has a hot carbon dioxide atmosphere, which is dominated by the greenhouse effect. Venus has all of its water in the atmosphere, which is only a fraction of the Earth's total water supply. Since planets developed presumably in similar conditions in the young Solar System, why Venus and Earth became so different in many respects?One important feature of Venus is that the planet does not have an intrinsic magnetic field. This makes it possible for the solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles from the Sun, to flow close to Venus and to pick up ions from the planet's upper atmosphere. The strong intrinsic magnetic field of the Earth dominates the terrestrial magnetosphere and deflects the solar wind flow far away from the atmosphere. The region around Venus where the planet's atmosphere interacts with the

  11. On ion escape from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarvinen, Riku

    2011-04-01

    This doctoral thesis is about the solar wind influence on the atmosphere of the planet Venus. A numerical plasma simulation model was developed for the interaction between Venus and the solar wind to study the erosion of charged particles from the Venus upper atmosphere. The developed model is a hybrid simulation where ions are treated as particles and electrons are modelled as a fluid. The simulation was used to study the solar wind induced ion escape from Venus as observed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express and NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft. Especially, observations made by the ASPERA-4 particle instrument onboard Venus Express were studied. The thesis consists of an introductory part and four peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals. In the introduction Venus is presented as one of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System and the main findings of the work are discussed within the wider context of planetary physics. Venus is the closest neighbouring planet to the Earth and the most earthlike planet in its size and mass orbiting the Sun. Whereas the atmosphere of the Earth consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, Venus has a hot carbon dioxide atmosphere, which is dominated by the greenhouse effect. Venus has all of its water in the atmosphere, which is only a fraction of the Earth's total water supply. Since planets developed presumably in similar conditions in the young Solar System, why Venus and Earth became so different in many respects? One important feature of Venus is that the planet does not have an intrinsic magnetic field. This makes it possible for the solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles from the Sun, to flow close to Venus and to pick up ions from the planet's upper atmosphere. The strong intrinsic magnetic field of the Earth dominates the terrestrial magnetosphere and deflects the solar wind flow far away from the atmosphere. The region around Venus where the planet's atmosphere interacts with the

  12. The characteristics of the O2 Herzberg II and Chamberlain bands observed with VIRTIS/Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Gérard, J. C.; Soret, L.; Slanger, T. G.; Politi, R.; Snels, M.; Drossart, P.; Nuccilli, F.

    2013-03-01

    The oxygen Venus nightglow emissions in the visible spectral range have been known since the early observations from the Venera spacecraft. Recent observations with the VIRTIS instrument on board Venus Express allowed us to re-examine the Herzberg II system of O2 and to further study its vertical distribution, in particular the (0-ν″ with ν″ = 7-13) bands. The present work describes the vertical profile of the observed bands and relative intensities from limb observation data. The wavelength-integrated intensities of the Herzberg II bands, with ν″ = 7-11, are inferred from the recorded spectra. The resulting values lie in the range of 84-116 kR at the altitudes of maximum intensity, which are found to lie in the range of 93-98 km. Three bands of the Chamberlain system, centered at 560 nm, 605 nm, and 657 nm have been identified as well. Their emission peak is located at about 100 km, 4 km higher than the Herzberg II bands. For the first time, the O2 nightglow emissions were investigated simultaneously in the visible and in the IR spectral range, showing a good agreement between the peak position for the Herzberg II and the O2(aΔg-XΣg-) bands. An airglow model, proposed by Gérard et al. (Gérard, J.C., Soret, L., Migliorini, A., Piccioni, G. [2013]. Icarus.) starting from realistic O and CO2 vertical distributions derived from Venus-Express observations, allows reproduction of the observed profiles for the three O2 systems.

  13. Venus Atmosphere and Surface Explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Larry W.; Hall, Jeff; Schofield, Tim

    2014-11-01

    ContextVenus is Earth’s twin planet, but it is an evil twin! To understand how Venus went wrong, to understand the terrestrial planets in our Solar System, those around other stars, and the future of the Earth… we must understand Venus history, evolution and current processes. This requires entering the Venus atmosphere and examining its surface. Future missions will land on Venus, but they need better characterization of its atmosphere and of possible landing sites. VASE can build on discoveries from previous missions, on technical advances in the last decades and on improved balloon technology. The hybrid mission links together a single vertical profile with two weeks of temporal and longitudinal data on a global scale. We can investigate the linked surface and atmosphere processes. We will measure the noble gases which retain indicators of Venus formation; clouds, winds, and chemistry that drive the current Venus processes; and take descent images that extend the Magellan RADAR results to sub-1m resolution, providing ground truth for Magellan’s global mapping and to characterize possible future landing sites.Science Objectives VASE will measure the complete inventory of atmospheric noble gas and light stable isotopes to constrain theories of planetary formation and evolution. It will take nested surface images on descent. It will provide the first complete atmospheric structure profile from clouds to surface of temperature, pressure and wind. VASE will measure with critical accuracy the trace and reactive gas composition profile from clouds to surface. VASE will map the surface emissivity along the surface below two balloon circumnavigations of Venus.Mission VASE is a hybrid Venus mission consisting of a large balloon and a small probe. It reaches Venus after a 4 month trip from Earth. The probe deploys from the entry vehicle and falls to surface in 1.5 hours. The balloon mission lasts 2 weeks, flying in the clouds at 55 km and circumnavigating Venus twice

  14. On the Ionospheric Holes of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collinson, G.; Fedorov, A.; Futaana, Y.; Masunaga, K.; Hartle, R. E.; Stenberg, G.; Budnik, E.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Holmstrom, M.; andre, N.; Barabash, S. V.; Zhang, T.

    2013-12-01

    One of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries that endures from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter is that of ~1000km wide ``Holes" in the nightside Ionosphere. The phenomena remains unexplained, despite their frequent observation during the first three years of the mission, and more than thirty years having elapsed since their first description in the literature. We present new observations by the ESA Venus Express of Ionospheric Holes at very high altitudes, providing us with the opportunity to study this fascinating phenomena with modern instrumentation. We discuss the insight that these new data give us into the effect of Ionospheric Holes on atmospheric escape, and the evidence that suggests that Ionospheric Holes are due to an internal planetary magnetic field.

  15. The structure of Venus' middle atmosphere and ionosphere.

    PubMed

    Pätzold, M; Häusler, B; Bird, M K; Tellmann, S; Mattei, R; Asmar, S W; Dehant, V; Eidel, W; Imamura, T; Simpson, R A; Tyler, G L

    2007-11-29

    The atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus have been studied in the past by spacecraft with remote sensing or in situ techniques. These early missions, however, have left us with questions about, for example, the atmospheric structure in the transition region from the upper troposphere to the lower mesosphere (50-90 km) and the remarkably variable structure of the ionosphere. Observations become increasingly difficult within and below the global cloud deck (<50 km altitude), where strong absorption greatly limits the available investigative spectrum to a few infrared windows and the radio range. Here we report radio-sounding results from the first Venus Express Radio Science (VeRa) occultation season. We determine the fine structure in temperatures at upper cloud-deck altitudes, detect a distinct day-night temperature difference in the southern middle atmosphere, and track day-to-day changes in Venus' ionosphere.

  16. Ionospheric photoelectrons: Comparing Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coates, A. J.; Tsang, S. M. E.; Wellbrock, A.; Frahm, R. A.; Winningham, J. D.; Barabash, S.; Lundin, R.; Young, D. T.; Crary, F. J.

    2011-08-01

    The sunlit portion of planetary ionospheres is sustained by photoionization. This was first confirmed using measurements and modelling at Earth, but recently the Mars Express, Venus Express and Cassini-Huygens missions have revealed the importance of this process at Mars, Venus and Titan, respectively. The primary neutral atmospheric constituents involved (O and CO 2 in the case of Venus and Mars, O and N 2 in the case of Earth and N 2 in the case of Titan) are ionized at each object by EUV solar photons. This process produces photoelectrons with particular spectral characteristics. The electron spectrometers on Venus Express and Mars Express (part of ASPERA-3 and 4, respectively) were designed with excellent energy resolution (Δ E/ E=8%) specifically in order to examine the photoelectron spectrum. In addition, the Cassini CAPS electron spectrometer at Saturn also has adequate resolution (Δ E/ E=16.7%) to study this population at Titan. At Earth, photoelectrons are well established by in situ measurements, and are even seen in the magnetosphere at up to 7 RE. At Mars, photoelectrons are seen in situ in the ionosphere, but also in the tail at distances out to the Mars Express apoapsis (˜3 RM). At both Venus and Titan, photoelectrons are seen in situ in the ionosphere and in the tail (at up to 1.45 RV and 6.8 RT, respectively). Here, we compare photoelectron measurements at Earth, Venus, Mars and Titan, and in particular show examples of their observation at remote locations from their production point in the dayside ionosphere. This process is found to be common between magnetized and unmagnetized objects. We discuss the role of photoelectrons as tracers of the magnetic connection to the dayside ionosphere, and their possible role in enhancing ion escape.

  17. Ionospheric photoelectrons: comparing Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coates, Andrew; Tsang, Sharon; Wellbrock, Anne; Frahm, Rudy; Winningham, David; Barabash, Stas; Lundin, Rickard; Young, David; Crary, Frank

    2010-05-01

    The sunlit portion of planetary ionospheres is sustained by photoionization. This was first confirmed using measurements and modelling at Earth, but recently the Mars Express, Venus Express and Cassini-Huygens missions have revealed the importance of this process at Mars, Venus and Titan respectively. The primary neutral atmospheric constituents (CO2 in the case of Venus and Mars, and N2 in the case of Earth and Titan) are ionized at each object by EUV solar photons. This process produces photoelectrons with particular spectral characteristics. The electron spectrometers on Venus Express and Mars Express (part of ASPERA-3 and 4 respectively) were designed with excellent energy resolution (ΔE/E=8%) specifically in order to examine the photoelectron spectrum. In addition, the CAPS electron spectrometer at Saturn also has adequate resolution (ΔE/E=16.7%) to study this population at Titan. At Earth, photoelectrons are well established by in-situ measurements, and are even seen in the magnetosphere at up to 7 RE. At Mars, photoelectrons are seen in situ in the ionosphere but also in the tail at distances out to the Mars Express apoapsis (~3RM). At both Venus and Titan, photoelectrons are seen in situ in the ionosphere and in the tail (at up to 1.45 RV and 6.8 RT respectively). Here, we compare photoelectron measurements at Earth, Venus, Mars and Titan. We discuss their role as a tracer of the magnetic connection to the dayside ionosphere, and their possible role in enhancing ion escape.

  18. Power system comparison for the Pluto Express mission

    SciTech Connect

    Harty, R.B.

    1995-12-31

    This paper presents a comparison of three advanced radioisotope power systems, along with a down sized RTG for the Pluto Express mission. These three advanced radioisotope power systems were the Radioisotope Alkali Metal Thermal--to-Electric Converter (RAMTEC), Radioisotope Stirling, and Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV). For the Pluto Express mission, the power requirement at the end of the 10-y mission is 74 We. It was found that all three advanced power systems could meet the required end of mission power with two General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. The RTG required six modules to meet the power requirement. Only the RAMTEC and RTPV met the mass goal of 9.5 kg. The AMTEC has a radiator area more than a factor of 10 lower than the Stirling and RTPV power systems, which simplifies spacecraft integration.

  19. Pioneer Venus encounter will occur in December

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The encounter time line and mission profile are presented for the Pioneer Venus 1 Spacecraft and for the four probes and transponder bus that comprise Pioneer Venus 2. Known facts about Venus are reviewed and the history of discoveries about the planet is related. Operations of the orbiter and multiprobe are described as well as the 30 instruments being carried and provisions for data transmission.

  20. Multiple signal propagation at the tropopause of the Venusian atmosphere: new insights from the Radio Science Experiment (VeRa) onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrmann, Maren; Oschlisniok, Janusz; Remus, Stefan; Tellmann, Silvia; Häusler, Bernd; Pätzold, Martin

    2016-10-01

    The rapid change of the refractive index over a short altitude range in a planetary atmosphere can lead to multi-path effects when sounding the atmosphere with radio waves. The Radio Science Experiment (VeRa) [1,2] onboard Venus Express sounded the Venusian atmosphere from 90 km downward to 40 km altitude[3,4]. More than 800 profiles of temperature, pressure and neutral number density could be retrieved which cover almost all local times and latitudes. A specially developed analysis method based on the VeRa open loop receiving technique deciphers the multi-path effect and identifies an inversion layer near the tropopause at an altitude of about 60km. This layer is of particular interest - it separates the stratified troposphere from the highly variable mesosphere and can be a likely location for the formation of gravity waves [5]. The new retrieval method shows an inversion layer up to 15 K colder than commonly thought. Local time and latitude dependence including the influence of the spacecraft trajectory on this effect will be discussed. These results will contribute to a consistent picture of the Venus' thermal atmosphere structure and therefore help to improve atmospheric models.[1] Häusler, B. et al: 'Radio science investigations by VeRa onboard the Venus Express spacecraft' Planetary and Space Science 54, 2006[2] Häusler, B. et al, 'Venus Atmospheric, Ionospheric, Surface and Interplanetery Radio-Wave Propagation Studies with the VeRa Radio Science experiment' Eur. Space Agencys, Spec. Publ., ESA SP 1295, 2007[3] Pätzold, M. et al: 'The structure of Venus' middle atmosphere and ionosphere', Nature 450, 2007[4] Tellmann, S. et al : 'Structure of the Venus neutral atmosphere as observed by the Radio Science experiment VeRa on Venus Express', Journal of Geophysical Research 114, 2009[5] Tellmann, S. et al: 'Small-scale temperature fluctuations seen by the VeRa Radio Science Experiment on Venus Express' Icarus 221, 2012.

  1. Venus Transit 2004

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, L. A.; Odenwald, S. F.

    2002-09-01

    December 6th, 1882 was the last transit of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun. It was heralded as an event of immense interest and importance to the astronomical community as well as the public at large. There have been only six such occurrences since Galileo first trained his telescope on the heavens in 1609 and on Venus in 1610 where he concluded that Venus had phases like the moon and appeared to get larger and smaller over time. Many historians consider this the final nail in the coffin of the Ptolemaic, Earth centered solar system. In addition, each transit has provided unique opportunities for discovery such as measurement and refinement of the astronomical unit, calculation of longitudes on the earth, and detection of Venus' atmosphere. The NASA Sun Earth Connection Education Forum in partnership with the Solar System Exploration Forum, DPS, and a number of NASA space missions is developing plans for an international education program centered around the June 8, 2004 Venus transit. The transit will be visible in its entirety from Europe and partially from the East Coast of the United States. We will use a series of robotic observatories including the Telescopes In Education network distributed in latitude to provide observations of the transit that will allow middle and high school students to calculate the A.U. through application of parallax. We will also use Venus transit as a probe of episodes in American history (e.g. 1769: revolutionary era, 1882: post civil war era, and 2004: modern era). Museums and planetariums in the US and Europe will offer real time viewing of the transit and conduct educational programs through professional development seminars, public lectures, and planetarium shows. We are interested in soliciting advice from the research community to coordinate professional research interests with this program.

  2. Aeolian processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1989-01-01

    This review assesses the potential aeolian regime on Venus as derived from spacecraft observations, laboratory simulations, and theoretical considerations. The two requirements for aeolian processes (a supply of small, loose particles and winds of sufficient strength to move them) appear to be met on Venus. Venera 9, 10, 13, and 14 images show particles considered to be sand and silt size on the surface. In addition, dust spurts (grains 5 to 50 microns in diameter) observed via lander images and inferred from the Pioneer-Venus nephalometer experiments suggest that the particles are loose and subject to movement. Although data on near surface winds are limited, measurements of 0.3 to 1.2 m/sec from the Venera lander and Pioneer-Venus probes appear to be well within the range required for sand and dust entrainment. Aeolian activity involves the interaction of the atmosphere, lithosphere, and loose particles. Thus, there is the potential for various physical and chemical weathering processes that can effect not only rates of erosion, but changes in the composition of all three components. The Venus Simulator is an apparatus used to simulate weathering under venusian conditions at full pressure (to 112 bars) and temperature (to 800 K). In one series of tests, the physical modifications of windblown particles and rock targets were assessed and it was shown that particles become abraded even when moved by gentle winds. However, little abrasion occurs on the target faces. Thus, compositional signatures for target rocks may be more indicative of the windblown particles than of the bedrock. From these and other considerations, aeolian modifications of the venusian surface may be expected to occur as weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition of surficial materials. Depending upon global and local wind regimes, there may be distinctive sources and sinks of windblown materials. Radar imaging, especially as potentially supplied via the Magellan mission, may enable the

  3. Extreme Environments Technologies for Probes to Venus and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Kolawa, Elizabeth A.; Peterson, Craig E.; Cutts, James A.; Belz, Andrea P.

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the technologies that are used to mitigate extreme environments for probes at Venus and Jupiter. The contents include: 1) Extreme environments at Venus and Jupiter; 2) In-situ missions to Venus and Jupiter (past/present/future); and 3) Approaches to mitigate conditions of extreme environments for probes with systems architectures and technologies.

  4. Return to Venus of the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Masato; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Hirose, Chikako; Imamura, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuaki; Abe, Takumi; Yamazaki, Atsushi; Yamada, Manabu; Ogohara, Kazunori; Uemizu, Kazunori; Fukuhara, Tetsuya; Ohtsuki, Shoko; Satoh, Takehiko; Suzuki, Makoto; Ueno, Munetaka; Nakatsuka, Junichi; Iwagami, Naomoto; Taguchi, Makoto; Watanabe, Shigeto; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Hashimoto, George L.; Yamamoto, Hiroki

    2014-01-01

    Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter/AKATSUKI was proposed in 2001 with strong support by international Venus science community and approved as an ISAS (The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) mission soon after the proposal. The mission life we expected was more than two Earth years in Venus orbit. AKATSUKI was successfully launched at 06:58:22JST on May 21, 2010, by H-IIA F17. After the separation from H-IIA, the telemetry from AKATSUKI was normally detected by DSN Goldstone station (10:00JST) and the solar cell paddles' deployment was confirmed. After a successful cruise, the malfunction happened on the propulsion system during the Venus orbit insertion (VOI) on Dec. 7, 2010. The engine shut down before the planned reduction in speed to achieve. The spacecraft did not enter the Venus orbit but entered an orbit around the Sun with a period of 203 days. Most of the fuel still had remained, but the orbital maneuvering engine was found to be broken and unusable. However, we have found an alternate way of achieving orbit by using only the reaction control system (RSC). We had adopted the alternate way for orbital maneuver and three minor maneuvers in Nov. 2011 were successfully done so that AKATSUKI would meet Venus in 2015. We are considering several scenarios for VOI using only RCS.

  5. Robotic Technology for Exploration of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    Venus, the "greenhouse planet", is a scientifically fascinating place. A huge number of important scientific questions remain to be answered. Venus is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" due to the fact that it is closest to the Earth in distance and similar to Earth in size. Despite its similarity to Earth, however, the climate of Venus is vastly different from Earth's. Understanding the atmosphere, climate, geology, and history of Venus could shed considerable light on our understanding of our own home planet. The surface of Venus is a hostile environment, with an atmosperic pressure of over 90 bar of carbon dioxide, temperature of 450 C, and shrouded in sulphuric-acid clouds. Venus has been explored by a number of missions from Earth, including the Russian Venera missions which landed probes on the surface, the American Pioneer missions which flew both orbiters and atmospheric probes to Venus, the Russian "Vega" mission, which floated balloons in the atmosphere of Venus, and most recently the American Magellan mission which mapped the surface by radar imaging. While these missions have answered basic questions about Venus, telling us the surface temperature and pressure, the elevations and topography of the continents, and the composition of the atmosphere and clouds, scientific mysteries still abound. Venus is of considerable interest to terrestrial atmospheric science, since of all the planets in the solar system, it is the closest analogue to the Earth in terms of atmosphere. Yet Venus' atmosphere is an example of "runaway greenhouse effect." Understanding the history and the dynamics of Venus' atmosphere could tell us considerable insight about the workings of the atmosphere of the Earth. It also has some interest to astrobiology-- could life have existed on Venus in an earlier, pre-greenhouse-effect phase? Could life still be possible in the temperate middle-atmosphere of Venus? The geology of Venus also has interest in the study of Earth. surface

  6. Venus Phasing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    1997-01-01

    Presents a science activity designed to introduce students to the geocentric and heliocentric models of the universe. Helps students discover why phase changes on Venus knocked Earth out of the center of the universe. (DKM)

  7. Exploring Venus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    The Universe in the Classroom, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Presents basic information on the planet Venus answering questions on location, size, temperature, clouds, water, and daylight. A weather forecast for a typical day and revelations from radar experiments are also included. (DH)

  8. Future exploration of Venus (post-Pioneer Venus 1978)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colin, L.; Evans, L. C.; Greeley, R.; Quaide, W. L.; Schaupp, R. W.; Seiff, A.; Young, R. E.

    1976-01-01

    A comprehensive study was performed to determine the major scientific unknowns about the planet Venus to be expected in the post-Pioneer Venus 1978 time frame. Based on those results the desirability of future orbiters, atmospheric entry probes, balloons, and landers as vehicles to address the remaining scientific questions were studied. The recommended mission scenario includes a high resolution surface mapping radar orbiter mission for the 1981 launch opportunity, a multiple-lander mission for 1985 and either an atmospheric entry probe or balloon mission in 1988. All the proposed missions can be performed using proposed space shuttle upper stage boosters. Significant amounts of long-lead time supporting research and technology developments are required to be initiated in the near future to permit the recommended launch dates.

  9. Carbon monoxide observed in Venus' atmosphere with SOIR/VEx

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandaele, A. C.; Mahieux, A.; Chamberlain, S.; Ristic, B.; Robert, S.; Thomas, I. R.; Trompet, L.; Wilquet, V.; Bertaux, J. L.

    2016-07-01

    The SOIR instrument on board the ESA Venus Express mission has been operational during the complete duration of the mission, from April 2006 up to December 2014. Spectra were recorded in the IR spectral region (2.2-4.3 μm) using the solar occultation geometry, giving access to a vast number of ro-vibrational lines and bands of several key species of the atmosphere of Venus. Here we present the complete set of vertical profiles of carbon monoxide (CO) densities and volume mixing ratios (vmr) obtained during the mission. These profiles are spanning the 65-150 km altitude range. We discuss the variability which is observed on the short term, but also the long term trend as well as variation of CO with solar local time and latitude. Short term variations can reach one order of magnitude on less than one month periods. SOIR does not observe a marked long term trend, except perhaps at the beginning of the mission where an increase of CO density and vmr has been observed. Evening abundances are systematically higher than morning values at altitudes above 105 km, but the reverse is observed at lower altitudes. Higher abundances are observed at the equator than at the poles for altitude higher than 105 km, but again the reverse is seen at altitudes lower than 90 km. This illustrates the complexity of the 90-100 km region of the Venus' atmosphere where different wind regimes are at play.

  10. Orbital Express mission operations planning and resource management using ASPEN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel

    2008-04-01

    As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less labor-power rises. Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Like a tow-truck delivering gas to a car on the road, the "servicing" satellite of OE had to find the "client" from several kilometers away, connect directly to the client, and transfer fluid (or a battery) autonomously, while on earth-orbit. The mission met 100% of its success criteria, and proved that autonomous satellite servicing is now a reality for space operations. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. As the constraints for execution could change weekly, daily, and even hourly, the tools used create the mission execution plans needed to be flexible and adaptable to many different kinds of changes. At the same time, the hard constraints of the plans needed to be maintained and satisfied. The Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, an overview of the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the NASA's Earth Observing One mission's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.

  11. Towards a Self Consistent Model of the Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Vandaele, Ann C.; Wilson, Colin

    Nearly three decades ago, an international effort led to the adoption of the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA) was published in 1985 after the significant data returned by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Probes and the earlier Venera missions (Kliore et al., 1985). The vertical thermal structure is one component of the reference model which relied primarily on the three Pioneer Venus Small Probes, the Large Probe profiles as well as several hundred retrieved temperature profiles from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter radio occultation data collected during 1978 - 1982. Since then a huge amount of thermal structure data has been obtained from multiple instruments on ESA’s Venus Express (VEX) orbiter mission. The VEX data come from retrieval of temperature profiles from SPICAV/SOIR stellar/solar occultations, VeRa radio occultations and from the passive remote sensing by the VIRTIS instrument. The results of these three experiments vary in their intrinsic properties - altitude coverage, spatial and temporal sampling and resolution and accuracy An international team has been formed with support from the International Space Studies Institute (Bern, Switzerland) to consider the observations of the Venus atmospheric structure obtained since the data used for the COSPAR Venus International Reference Atmosphere (Kliore et al., 1985). We report on the progress made by the comparison of the newer data with VIRA model and also between different experiments where there is overlap. Kliore, A.J., V.I. Moroz, and G.M. Keating, Eds. 1985, VIRA: Venus International Reference Atmosphere, Advances in Space Research, Volume 5, Number 11, 307 pages.

  12. The SPICAV-SOIR instrument probing the atmosphere of Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trompet, Loïc; Mahieux, Arnaud; Wilquet, Valérie; Robert, Séverine; Chamberlain, Sarah; Thomas, Ian; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    2016-04-01

    The Solar Occultation in the Infrared (SOIR) channel mounted on top of the SPICAV instrument of the ESA's Venus Express mission has observed the atmosphere of Venus during more than eight years. This IR spectrometer (2.2-4.3 μm) with a high spectral resolution (0.12 cm-1) combined an echelle grating with an acousto-optic tunable filter for order selection. SOIR performed more than 1500 solar occultation measurements leading to about two millions spectra. The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) was in charge of SOIR's development and operations as well as its data pipeline. BIRA-IASB carried out several studies on the composition of Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen halide (HF, HCl, DF, DCl), sulfur dioxide, water (H2O, HDO) as well as sulphuric acid aerosols in the upper haze of Venus. Density and temperature profiles of the upper atmosphere of Venus (60 km to 170 km) at the terminator have been retrieved from SOIR's spectra using different assumptions, wherein the hydrostatic equilibrium and the local thermodynamical equilibrium in the radiative transfer calculations. These results allow us to produce an Atmospheric model of Venus called Venus Atmosphere from SOIR measurements at the Terminator (VAST). Data obtained by SOIR will also contribute to update the Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA). Recently, the treatment of the raw data to transmittance has been optimized, and a new dataset of spectra has been produced. All raw spectra (PSA level 2) as well as calibrated spectra (PSA level 3) have been delivered to ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PDSPSA). Consequently the re-analysis of all spectra has been undergone. We will briefly present the improvements implemented in the data pipeline. We will also show a compilation of results obtained by the instrument considering the complete mission duration.

  13. Future Role of Aerial Platforms at Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Pauken, M.; Hall, J. L.; Baines, K. H.; Grimm, R.

    2017-02-01

    This paper reviews the brief experience with deploying aerial platforms at Venus, the various mission concepts that have been proposed over the last three decades, and a vision for their application through 2050.

  14. Hinode Views the 2012 Venus Transit

    NASA Video Gallery

    On June 5, 2012, Hinode captured these stunning views of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117. Hinode is a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections o...

  15. Hinode Views the Transit of Venus

    NASA Video Gallery

    On June 5, 2012, Hinode captured this stunning view of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117. Hinode is a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections of ...

  16. Automated and Adaptive Mission Planning for Orbital Express

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel; Koblick, Darin

    2008-01-01

    The Orbital Express space mission was a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) lead demonstration of on-orbit satellite servicing scenarios, autonomous rendezvous, fluid transfers of hydrazine propellant, and robotic arm transfers of Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) components. Boeing's Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) vehicle provided the servicing to the Ball Aerospace's Next Generation Serviceable Satellite (NextSat) client. For communication opportunities, operations used the high-bandwidth ground-based Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) along with the relatively low-bandwidth GEO-Synchronous space-borne Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) network. Mission operations were conducted out of the RDT&E Support Complex (RSC) at the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. All mission objectives were met successfully: The first of several autonomous rendezvous was demonstrated on May 5, 2007; autonomous free-flyer capture was demonstrated on June 22, 2007; the fluid and ORU transfers throughout the mission were successful. Planning operations for the mission were conducted by a team of personnel including Flight Directors, who were responsible for verifying the steps and contacts within the procedures, the Rendezvous Planners who would compute the locations and visibilities of the spacecraft, the Scenario Resource Planners (SRPs), who were concerned with assignment of communications windows, monitoring of resources, and sending commands to the ASTRO spacecraft, and the Mission planners who would interface with the real-time operations environment, process planning products and coordinate activities with the SRP. The SRP position was staffed by JPL personnel who used the Automated Scheduling and Planning ENvironment (ASPEN) to model and enforce mission and satellite constraints. The lifecycle of a plan began three weeks outside its execution on-board. During the planning timeframe, many aspects could change the plan

  17. Meeting Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, Christiaan; Aspaas, Per Pippin

    2013-06-01

    On 2-3 June 2012, the University of Tromsoe hosted a conference about the cultural and scientific history of the transits of Venus. The conference took place in Tromsoe for two very specific reasons. First and foremost, the last transit of Venus of this century lent itself to be observed on the disc of the Midnight Sun in this part of Europe during the night of 5 to 6 June 2012. Second, several Venus transit expeditions in this region were central in the global enterprise of measuring the scale of the solar system in the eighteenth century. The site of the conference was the Nordnorsk Vitensenter (Science Centre of Northern Norway), which is located at the campus of the University of Tromsoe. After the conference, participants were invited to either stay in Tromsoe until the midnight of 5-6 June, or take part in a Venus transit voyage in Finnmark, during which the historical sites Vardoe, Hammerfest, and the North Cape were to be visited. The post-conference program culminated with the participants observing the transit of Venus in or near Tromsoe, Vardoe and even from a plane near Alta. These Proceedings contain a selection of the lectures delivered on 2-3 June 2012, and also a narrative description of the transit viewing from Tromsoe, Vardoe and Alta. The title of the book, Meeting Venus, refers the title of a play by the Hungarian film director, screenwriter and opera director Istvan Szabo (1938-). The autobiographical movie Meeting Venus (1991) directed by him is based on his experience directing Tannhauser at the Paris Opera in 1984. The movie brings the story of an imaginary international opera company that encounters a never ending series of difficulties and pitfalls that symbolise the challenges of any multicultural and international endeavour. As is evident from the many papers presented in this book, Meeting Venus not only contains the epic tales of the transits of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it also covers the conference

  18. Orbital Express Mission Operations Planning and Resource Management using ASPEN

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    As satellite equipment and mission operations become more costly, the drive to keep working equipment running with less man-power rises.Demonstrating the feasibility of autonomous satellite servicing was the main goal behind the Orbital Express (OE) mission. Planning the satellite mission operations for OE required the ability to create a plan which could be executed autonomously over variable conditions. The Automated-Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN)tool, developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was used to create the schedule of events in each daily plan for the two satellites of the OE mission. This paper presents an introduction to the ASPEN tool, the constraints of the OE domain, the variable conditions that were presented within the mission, and the solution to operations that ASPEN provided. ASPEN has been used in several other domains, including research rovers, Deep Space Network scheduling research, and in flight operations for the ASE project's EO1 satellite. Related work is discussed, as are the future of ASPEN and the future of autonomous satellite servicing.

  19. Ion signatures of magnetic flux ropes in the Venusian ionosphere as observed by APSERA-4 and MAG onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guymer, G.; Grande, M.; Whittaker, I.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Venus has a negligible intrinsic magnetic moment with an upper limit a factor 10-5 of earth's [1]. This entails that the ionosphere is vulnerable to scavenging by the solar wind. However, magnetic fields may be induced in the ionosphere by interaction with the interplanetary magnetic field frozen-in to the solar wind. The presence of small scale magnetic structures in the dayside ionosphere of the planet Venus has been long established and were first observed in Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) data in 1979 [2] during the run up to solar maximum. These ionospheric `flux ropes' were observed in over 70% of passes in which the orbit of PVO intersected the dayside ionosphere [3]. Magnetic flux ropes are identified as brief, discrete disturbances from any background magnetic field, lasting a few seconds with a magnitude of up to many 10's of nano-Teslas in strength [3, 4]. Flux ropes have a strong central, axial field, that is wrapped with field lines of weakening strength and increased helical angle with distance from the central field lines [4]. Due to this particular structure, flux ropes present a specific signature in the three variance projections (also known as a hodogram) when minimum variance analysis is applied to the magnetic data set [2]. With Venus Express now in operational orbit around the planet, flux ropes are being observed in the data retrieved by the magnetometers (MAG [5]) onboard. The magnetic data used in this analysis is the 1Hz data set provided by H. Wei (of UCLA). Variance projections have been produced for several structures in 2006, revealing them to be flux ropes (see figure 1). Using the Ion Mass Analyser (IMA; part of the ASPERA-4 package [6]) and MAG, the ion composition within the ropes and the effect of such magnetic structures upon ionospheric erosion is being studied. Where flux ropes have been evident in the magnetic data, ion spectra have been produced in an attempt to deduce any compositional differences between a flux rope

  20. HAVOC: High Altitude Venus Operational Concept - An Exploration Strategy for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arney, Dale; Jones, Chris

    2015-01-01

    The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration. A lighter-than-air vehicle can carry either a host of instruments and probes, or a habitat and ascent vehicle for a crew of two astronauts to explore Venus for up to a month. The mission requires less time to complete than a crewed Mars mission, and the environment at 50 km is relatively benign, with similar pressure, density, gravity, and radiation protection to the surface of Earth. A recent internal NASA study of a High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) led to the development of an evolutionary program for the exploration of Venus, with focus on the mission architecture and vehicle concept for a 30 day crewed mission into Venus's atmosphere. Key technical challenges for the mission include performing the aerocapture maneuvers at Venus and Earth, inserting and inflating the airship at Venus, and protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere. With advances in technology and further refinement of the concept, missions to the Venusian atmosphere can expand humanity's future in space.

  1. Venus gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reasenberg, Robert D.

    1993-01-01

    The anomalous gravity field of Venus shows high correlation with surface features revealed by radar. We extract gravity models from the Doppler tracking data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) by means of a two-step process. In the first step, we solve the nonlinear spacecraft state estimation problem using a Kalman filter-smoother. The Kalman filter was evaluated through simulations. This evaluation and some unusual features of the filter are discussed. In the second step, we perform a geophysical inversion using a linear Bayesian estimator. To allow an unbiased comparison between gravity and topography, we use a simulation technique to smooth and distort the radar topographic data so as to yield maps having the same characteristics as our gravity maps. The maps presented cover 2/3 of the surface of Venus and display the strong topography-gravity correlation previously reported. The topography-gravity scatter plots show two distinct trends.

  2. AMTEC radioisotope power system for the Pluto Express mission

    SciTech Connect

    Ivanenok, J.F. III; Sievers, R.K.

    1995-12-31

    The Alkali Metal Thermal to Electric Converter (AMTEC) technology has made substantial advances in the last 3 years through design improvements and technical innovations. In 1993 programs began to produce an AMTEC cell specifically for the NASA Pluto Express Mission. A set of efficiency goals was established for this series of cells to be developed. According to this plan, cell {number_sign}8 would be 17% efficient but was actually 18% efficient. Achieving this goal, as well as design advances that allow the cell to be compact, has resulted in pushing the cell from an unexciting 2 W/kg and 2% efficiency to very attractive 40 W/kg and 18% measured efficiency. This paper will describe the design and predict the performance of a radioisotope powered AMTEC system for the Pluto Express mission.

  3. The Magellan Venus explorer's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Carolynn (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The Magellan radar-mapping mission to the planet Venus is described. Scientific highlights include the history of U.S. and Soviet missions, as well as ground-based radar observations, that have provided the current knowledge about the surface of Venus. Descriptions of the major Venusian surface features include controversial theories about the origin of some of the features. The organization of the Magellan science investigators into discipline-related task groups for data-analysis purposes is presented. The design of the Magellan spacecraft and the ability of its radar sensor to conduct radar imaging, altimetry, and radiometry measurements are discussed. Other topics report on the May 1989 launch, the interplanetary cruise, the Venus orbit-insertion maneuver, and the in-orbit mapping strategy. The objectives of a possible extended mission emphasize the gravity experiment and explain why high-resolution gravity data cannot be acquired during the primary mission. A focus on the people of Magellan reveals how they fly the spacecraft and prepare for major mission events. Special items of interest associated with the Magellan mission are contained in windows interspersed throughout the text. Finally, short summaries describe the major objectives and schedules for several exciting space missions planned to take us into the 21st century.

  4. Writing the History of Space Missions: Rosetta and Mars Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coradini, M.; Russo, A.

    2011-10-01

    Mars Express is the first planetary mission accomplished by the European Space Agency (ESA). Launched in early June 2003, the spacecraft entered Mars's orbit on Christmas day of that year, demonstrating the new European commitment to planetary exploration. Following a failed attempt in the mid-­-1980s, two valid proposals for a European mission to Mars were submitted to ESA's decision-­-making bodies in the early 1990s, in step with renewed international interest in Mars exploration. Both were rejected, however, in the competitive selection process for the agency's Science Programme. Eventually, the Mars Express proposal emerged during a severe budgetary crisis in the mid-­-1990s as an exemplar of a "flexible mission" that could reduce project costs and development time. Its successful maneuvering through financial difficulties and conflicting scientific interests was due to the new management approach as well as to the public appeal of Mars exploration. In addition to providing a case study in the functioning of the ESA's Science Programme, the story of Mars Express discussed in this paper provides a case study in the functioning of the European Space Agency's Science Programme and suggests some general considerations on the peculiar position of space research in the general field of the history of science and technology.

  5. Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polidan, R.; Lee, G.; Sokol, D.; Griffin, K.; Bolisay, L.; Barnes, N.

    2014-04-01

    Over the past years we have explored a possible new approach to Venus upper atmosphere exploration by applying recent Northrop Grumman (non-NASA) development programs to the challenges associated with Venus upper atmosphere science missions. Our concept is a low ballistic coefficient (<50 Pa), semibuoyant aircraft that deploys prior to entering the Venus atmosphere, enters the Venus atmosphere without an aeroshell, and provides a long-lived (months to years), maneuverable vehicle capable of carrying science payloads to explore the Venus upper atmosphere. VAMP targets the global Venus atmosphere between 55 and 70 km altitude and would be a platform to address VEXAG goals I.A, I.B, and I.C. We will discuss the overall mission architecture and concept of operations from launch through Venus arrival, orbit, entry, and atmospheric science operations. We will present a strawman concept of VAMP, including ballistic coefficient, planform area, percent buoyancy, inflation gas, wing span, vehicle mass, power supply, propulsion, materials considerations, structural elements, subsystems, and packaging. The interaction between the VAMP vehicle and the supporting orbiter will also be discussed. In this context, we will specifically focus upon four key factors impacting the design and performance of VAMP: 1. Science payload accommodation, constraints, and opportunities 2. Characteristics of flight operations and performance in the Venus atmosphere: altitude range, latitude and longitude access, day/night performance, aircraft performance, performance sensitivity to payload weight 3. Feasibility of and options for the deployment of the vehicle in space 4. Entry into the Venus atmosphere, including descent profile, heat rate, total heat load, stagnation temperature, control, and entry into level flight We will discuss interdependencies of the above factors and the manner in which the VAMP strawman's characteristics affect the CONOPs and the science objectives. We will show how the

  6. Robotic Exploration of the Surface and Atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    Venus, the "greenhouse planet", is a scientifically fascinating place. In many ways it can be considered "Earth's evil twin." A huge number of important scientific questions remain to be answered: 1) Before the runaway greenhouse effect, was early Venus temperate? 2) Did Venus once have an ocean? 3) What causes the geological resurfacing of the planet? 4) Is Venus still geologically active? 5) What is the "snow" on Venus mountaintops? 6) Can we learn about Earth's climate from Venus? 7) Is the atmosphere of Venus suitable for life? To address these and other scientific questions, a robotic mission to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus has been designed. The mission includes both surface robots, designed with an operational lifetime of 90 days on the surface of Venus, and also solar-powered airplanes to probe the middle atmosphere. At 450 Celsius, and with 90 atmospheres of pressure of carbon-dioxide atmosphere, the surface of Venus is a hostile place for operation of a probe. This paper will present the mission design, discuss the technology options for materials, power systems, electronics, and instruments, and present a short summary of the mission.

  7. Altitude-Controlled Balloons for Long-Duration Flights on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voss, P. B.; Nott, J.; Cutts, J. A.; Hall, J. L.; Beauchamp, P. M.; Limaye, S. S.; Baynes, K. H.; Bennett, B.; Hole, L. R.

    2014-06-01

    Balloons provide a relatively simple and well-proven platform for accessing the upper atmosphere of Venus. We analyze several types of altitude-controlled balloons and assess their suitability for an extended mission on Venus.

  8. Moon Express: Lander Capabilities and Initial Payload and Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spudis, P.; Richards, R.; Burns, J. O.

    2013-12-01

    Moon Express Inc. is developing a common lander design to support the commercial delivery of a wide variety of possible payloads to the lunar surface. Significant recent progress has been made on lander design and configuration and a straw man mission concept has been designed to return significant new scientific and resource utilization data from the first mission. The Moon Express lander is derived from designs tested at NASA Ames Research Center over the past decade. The MX-1 version is designed to deliver 26 kg of payload to the lunar surface, with no global restrictions on landing site. The MX-2 lander can carry a payload of 400 kg and can deliver an upper stage (designed for missions that require Earth-return, such as sample retrieval) or a robotic rover. The Moon Express lander is powered by a specially designed engine capable of being operated in either monoprop or biprop mode. The concept for the first mission is a visit to a regional pyroclastic deposit on the lunar near side. We have focused on the Rima Bode dark mantle deposits (east of crater Copernicus, around 13 N, 4 W). These deposits are mature, having been exposed to solar wind for at least 3 Ga, and have high Ti content, suggesting high concentrations of implanted hydrogen. Smooth areas near the vent suggest that the ash beds are several tens of meters thick. The projected payload includes an imaging system to document the geological setting of the landing area, an APX instrument to provide major element composition of the regolith and a neutron spectrometer to measure the bulk hydrogen composition of the regolith at the landing site. Additionally, inclusion of a next generation laser retroreflector would markedly improve measurements of lunar librations and thus, constrain the dimensions of both the liquid and solid inner cores of the Moon, as well as provide tests of General Relativity. Conops are simple, with measurements of the surface composition commencing immediately upon landing. APX

  9. The Venus environment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-08-01

    Attention is given to noble gases in planetary atmospheres, the photochemistry of the stratosphere of Venus, the chemistry of metastable species in the Venusian ionosphere, the Venus ionosphere at grazing incidence of solar radiation, disappearing ionospheres on the nightside of Venus, and the observed composition of the ionosphere of Venus. Other investigations considered are concerned with the predicted electrical conductivity between 0 and 80 km in the Venusian atmosphere, sulfuric acid vapor and other cloud-related gases in the Venus atmosphere, the composition and vertical structure of the lower cloud deck on Venus, amorphous sulfur as the ultraviolet absorber on Venus, and polarization studies of the Venus UV contrasts. A description is provided of topics related to temporal variability of ultraviolet cloud features in the Venus stratosphere, zonal mean circulation at the cloud level on Venus, the influence of thermospheric winds on exospheric hydrogen on Venus, and an analysis of Venus gravity data.

  10. Venus, Earth, Xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    Xenon has been regarded as an important goal of many proposed missions to Venus. This talk is intended to explain why. Despite its being the heaviest gas found in natural planetary atmospheres, there is more evidence that Xe escaped from Earth than for any element apart from helium: (i) Atmospheric Xe is very strongly mass fractionated (at about 4% per amu) from any known solar system source. This suggests fractionating escape that preferentially left the heavy Xe isotopes behind. (ii) Xe is underabundant compared to Kr, a lighter noble gas that is not strongly mass fractionated in air. (iii) Radiogenic Xe is strongly depleted by factors of several to ~100 compared to the quantities expected from radioactive decay of primordial solar system materials. In these respects Xe on Mars is similar to Xe on Earth, but with one key difference: Xe on Mars is readily explained by a simple process like hydrodynamic escape that acts on an initially solar or meteoritic Xe. This is not so for Earth. Earth's Xe cannot be derived by an uncontrived mass fractionating process acting on any known type of Solar System Xe. Earth is a stranger, made from different stuff than any known meteorite or Mars or even the Sun. Who else is in Earth's family? Comets? We know nothing. Father Zeus? Data from Jupiter are good enough to show that jovian Xe is not strongly mass-fractionated but not good enough to determine whether Jupiter resembles the Earth or the Sun. Sister Venus? Noble gas data from Venus are incomplete, with Kr uncertain and Xe unmeasured. Krypton was measured by several instruments on several spacecraft. The reported Kr abundances are discrepant and were once highly controversial. These discrepancies appear to have been not so much resolved as forgotten. Xenon was not detected on Venus. Upper limits were reported for the two most abundant xenon isotopes 129Xe and 132Xe. From the limited data it is not possible to tell whether Venus's affinities lie with the solar wind, or with

  11. The main layers of the ionosphere of Venus as seen by Pioneer Venus Orbiter radio occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermann, Jacob; Withers, Paul; Vogt, Marissa F.

    2016-10-01

    Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) performed numerous atmospheric experiments from 1978 to 1992. Radio occultation measurements were used to create vertical ionospheric electron density profiles extending as low as 100 km altitude; yielding data coverage across the V1 and V2 layers of the Venusian ionosphere, 125 and 140 km respectively. The PVO data give us a unique look at the ionosphere during solar maximum compared to later Venus missions. However, none of these ionospheric profiles were archived at the PDS nor have been available for comparison to Venus Express observations. We have extracted 120 PVO radio occultation profiles from published papers using a program to digitally read data from graphical images. Additionally, the NSSDC had 94 profiles, 63 of which were added to our dataset. The data from both sources were used in conjunction to analyze trends between solar activity and the characteristics of the V1 and V2 layers. The V1 layer, created by soft x-rays, should react more to changes in solar activity than the EUV created V2 layer. We intend to archive this data at the PDS so that the community can easily access digital measurements of the Venusian ionosphere at solar maximum.

  12. Mariner Venus-Mercury 1973 Project. Volume 1: Venus and Mercury 1 Encounters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The primary mission report includes the Venus encounter and the first Mercury encounter. Plans and activities undertaken to successfully achieve the mission objectives are described. Operational activities are identified by mission operation system functions, providing a brief summary of each discipline. Spacecraft performance is summarized by subsystems.

  13. Venus mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Morgan, H. F.; Sucharski, Robert

    1991-01-01

    Semicontrolled image mosaics of Venus, based on Magellan data, are being compiled at 1:50,000,000, 1:10,000,000, 1:5,000,000, and 1:1,000,000 scales to support the Magellan Radar Investigator (RADIG) team. The mosaics are semicontrolled in the sense that data gaps were not filled and significant cosmetic inconsistencies exist. Contours are based on preliminary radar altimetry data that is subjected to revision and improvement. Final maps to support geologic mapping and other scientific investigations, to be compiled as the dataset becomes complete, will be sponsored by the Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program and/or the Venus Data Analysis Program. All maps, both semicontrolled and final, will be published as I-maps by the United States Geological Survey. All of the mapping is based on existing knowledge of the spacecraft orbit; photogrammetric triangulation, a traditional basis for geodetic control on planets where framing cameras were used, is not feasible with the radar images of Venus, although an eventual shift of coordinate system to a revised spin-axis location is anticipated. This is expected to be small enough that it will affect only large-scale maps.

  14. Weak, Quiet Magnetic Fields Seen in the Venus Atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Zhang, T L; Baumjohann, W; Russell, C T; Luhmann, J G; Xiao, S D

    2016-03-24

    The existence of a strong internal magnetic field allows probing of the interior through both long term changes of and short period fluctuations in that magnetic field. Venus, while Earth's twin in many ways, lacks such a strong intrinsic magnetic field, but perhaps short period fluctuations can still be used to probe the electrical conductivity of the interior. Toward the end of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign took the spacecraft below the ionosphere into the very weakly electrically conducting atmosphere. As the spacecraft descended from 150 to 140 km altitude, the magnetic field became weaker on average and less noisy. Below 140 km, the median field strength became steady but the short period fluctuations continued to weaken. The weakness of the fluctuations indicates they might not be useful for electromagnetic sounding of the atmosphere from a high altitude platform such as a plane or balloon, but possibly could be attempted on a lander.

  15. Weak, Quiet Magnetic Fields Seen in the Venus Atmosphere

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, T. L.; Baumjohann, W.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Xiao, S. D.

    2016-01-01

    The existence of a strong internal magnetic field allows probing of the interior through both long term changes of and short period fluctuations in that magnetic field. Venus, while Earth’s twin in many ways, lacks such a strong intrinsic magnetic field, but perhaps short period fluctuations can still be used to probe the electrical conductivity of the interior. Toward the end of the Venus Express mission, an aerobraking campaign took the spacecraft below the ionosphere into the very weakly electrically conducting atmosphere. As the spacecraft descended from 150 to 140 km altitude, the magnetic field became weaker on average and less noisy. Below 140 km, the median field strength became steady but the short period fluctuations continued to weaken. The weakness of the fluctuations indicates they might not be useful for electromagnetic sounding of the atmosphere from a high altitude platform such as a plane or balloon, but possibly could be attempted on a lander. PMID:27009234

  16. Pioneer Venus orbiter electron temperature probe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brace, Larry H.

    1994-01-01

    This document lists the scientific accomplishments of the Orbiter Electron Temperature Probe (OETP) group. The OETP instrument was fabricated in 1976, integrated into the PVO spacecraft in 1977, and placed in orbit about Venus in December 1978. The instrument operated flawlessly for nearly 14 years until PVO was lost as it entered the Venusian atmosphere in October 1992. The OETP group worked closely with other PVO investigators to examine the Venus ionosphere and its interactions with the solar wind. After the mission was completed we continued to work with the scientist selected for the Venus Data Analysis Program (VDAP), and this is currently leading to additional publications.

  17. Hypothetical flora and fauna of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2014-12-01

    Hypothetical habitability of some of extrasolar planets is a fundamental question of science. Some of exoplanets possess physical conditions close to those of Venus. Therefore, the planet Venus, with its dense and hot (735 K) oxygen-free atmosphere of CO2, having a high pressure of 9.2 MPa at the surface, can be a natural laboratory for this kind of studies. The only existing data on the planet's surface are still the results obtained by the Soviet VENERA landers in the 1970s and 1980s. The TV experiments of Venera-9 and 10 (October, 1975) and Venera-13 and 14 (March, 1982) delivered 41 panoramas of Venus surface (or their fragments). There have not been any similar missions to Venus in the subsequent 39 and 32 years. In the absence of new landing missions to Venus, the VENERA panoramas have been re-processed. The results of these missions are studied anew. A dozen of relatively large objects, from a decimeter to half a meter in size, with an unusual morphology have been found which moved very slowly or changed slightly their shape. Their emergence by chance could hardly be explained by noise. Certain unusual findings that have similar structure were found in different areas of the planet. This paper presents the last results obtained of a search for hypothetical flora and fauna of Venus.

  18. Hot Flow Anomalies at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collinson, G. A.; Sibeck, David Gary; Boardsen, Scott A.; Moore, Tom; Barabash, S.; Masters, A.; Shane, N.; Slavin, J.A.; Coates, A.J.; Zhang, T. L.; Sarantos, M.

    2012-01-01

    We present a multi-instrument study of a hot flow anomaly (HFA) observed by the Venus Express spacecraft in the Venusian foreshock, on 22 March 2008, incorporating both Venus Express Magnetometer and Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA) plasma observations. Centered on an interplanetary magnetic field discontinuity with inward convective motional electric fields on both sides, with a decreased core field strength, ion observations consistent with a flow deflection, and bounded by compressive heated edges, the properties of this event are consistent with those of HFAs observed at other planets within the solar system.

  19. Scientific Balloons for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, James; Yavrouian, Andre; Nott, Julian; Baines, Kevin; Limaye, Sanjay; Wilson, Colin; Kerzhanovich, Viktor; Voss, Paul; Hall, Jeffery

    Almost 30 years ago, two balloons were successfully deployed into the atmosphere of Venus as an element of the VeGa - Venus Halley mission conducted by the Soviet Union. As interest in further Venus exploration grows among the established planetary exploration agencies - in Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States, use of balloons is emerging as an essential part of that investigative program. Venus balloons have been proposed in NASA’s Discovery program and ESA’s cosmic vision program and are a key element in NASA’s strategic plan for Venus exploration. At JPL, the focus for the last decade has been on the development of a 7m diameter superpressure pressure(twice that of VeGa) capable of carrying a 100 kg payload (14 times that of VeGA balloons), operating for more than 30 days (15 times the 2 day flight duration of the VeGa balloons) and transmitting up to 20 Mbit of data (300 times that of VeGa balloons). This new generation of balloons must tolerate day night transitions on Venus as well as extended exposure to the sulfuric acid environment. These constant altitude balloons operating at an altitude of about 55 km on Venus where temperatures are benign can also deploy sondes to sound the atmosphere beneath the probe and deliver deep sondes equipped to survive and operate down to the surface. The technology for these balloons is now maturing rapidly and we are now looking forward to the prospects for altitude control balloons that can cycle repeatedly through the Venus cloud region. One concept, which has been used for tropospheric profiling in Antarctica, is the pumped-helium balloon, with heritage to the anchor balloon, and would be best adapted for flight above the 55 km level. Phase change balloons, which use the atmosphere as a heat engine, can be used to investigate the lower cloud region down to 30 km. Progress in components for high temperature operation may also enable investigation of the deep atmosphere of Venus with metal-based balloons.

  20. Venus Highland Anomalous Reflectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Richard A.; Tyler, G. L.; Häusler, B.; Mattei, R.; Patzold, M.

    2009-09-01

    Maxwell Montes was one of several unusually bright areas identified from early Venus radar backscatter observations. Pioneer Venus' orbiting radar associated low emissivity with the bright areas and established a correlation between reflectivity and altitude. Magellan, using an oblique bistatic geometry, showed that the bright surface dielectric constant was not only large but also imaginary -- i.e., the material was conducting, at least near Cleopatra Patera (Pettengill et al., Science, 272, 1996). Venus Express (VEX) repeated Magellan's bistatic observations over Maxwell, using the more conventional circular polarization carried by most spacecraft. Although VEX signal-to-noise ratio was lower than Magellan's, echoes were sufficiently strong to verify the Magellan conclusions near Cleopatra (see J. Geophys. Res., 114, E00B41, doi:10.1029/2008JE003156). Only about 40% of the surface at Cleopatra scatters specularly, opening the Fresnel (specular) interpretation model to question. Elsewhere in Maxwell, the specular percentage may be even lower. Nonetheless, the echo polarization is reversed throughout Maxwell, a result that is consistent with large dielectric constants and difficult to explain without resorting qualitatively (if not quantitatively) to specular models. VEX was scheduled to explore other high altitude regions when its S-Band (13-cm wavelength) radio system failed in late 2006, so further probing of high altitude targets awaits arrival of a new spacecraft.

  1. Orbital Express Mission Operations Planning and Resource Management using ASPEN

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chouinard, Caroline; Knight, Russell; Jones, Grailing; Tran, Danny

    2008-01-01

    The Orbital Express satellite servicing demonstrator program is a DARPA program aimed at developing "a safe and cost-effective approach to autonomously service satellites in orbit". The system consists of: a) the Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations (ASTRO) vehicle, under development by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and b) a prototype modular next-generation serviceable satellite, NEXTSat, being developed by Ball Aerospace. Flexibility of ASPEN: a) Accommodate changes to procedures; b) Accommodate changes to daily losses and gains; c) Responsive re-planning; and d) Critical to success of mission planning Auto-Generation of activity models: a) Created plans quickly; b) Repetition/Re-use of models each day; and c) Guarantees the AML syntax. One SRP per day vs. Tactical team

  2. The Plains of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpton, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    extremely fluid flows (i.e., channel formers), to viscous, possibly felsic lavas of steep-sided domes. Wrinkle ridges deform many plains units and this has been taken to indicate that these ridges essentially form an early stratigraphic marker that limits subsequent volcanism to a minimum. However, subtle backscatter variations within many ridged plains units suggest (but do not prove) that some plains volcanism continued well after local ridge deformation ended. Furthermore, many of volcanic sources show little, if any, indications of tectonic modification and detailed analyses have concluded that resurfacing rates could be similar to those on Earth. Improving constraints on the rates and styles of volcanism within the plains could lend valuable insights into the evolution of Venus's internal heat budget and the transition from thin-lid to thick-lid tectonic regimes. Improved spatial and radiometric resolution of radar images would greatly improve abilities to construct the complex local stratigraphy of ridged plains. Constraining the resurfacing history of Venus is central to understanding how Earth-sized planets evolve and whether or not their evolutionary pathways lead to habitability. This goal can only be adequately addressed if broad coverage is added to the implementation strategies of any future mapping missions to Venus.

  3. Venus: Water and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditkof, J. F.

    2013-05-01

    Amphiboles that contain the hydroxide ion form only in the presence of water and this fact has become the way for scientists to prove that Venus was once a water world. Though, tremolite is considered the main mineral to look for, it requires life that is analogous to the ancient life here on Earth for it to form. Dolomite is the main ingredient for the formation of this low grade metamorphic mineral and without it would be very difficult for tremolite to form, unless there is another process that is unknown to science. Venus is known to have extensive volcanic features (over 1600 confirmed shield volcanoes dot its surface) and with little erosion taking place; a mineral that is associated with volcanism and forms only in the presence of water should be regarded as the main goal. Hornblende can form via volcanism or a metamorphic process but requires water for initial formation. The European Space Agency is currently trying to determine whether or not the continents on Venus' surface are made of granite, as they argue granite requires water for formation. Either way, computer models suggest that any oceans that formed on the surface would have lasted at best 2 billion years, as the surface is estimated to be only 800 million years old, any hornblende that would have formed is more than likely going to be deep underground. To find this mineral, as well as others, it would require a mission that has the ability to drill into the surface, as the easiest place to do this would be on the mountain peaks in the Northern Hemisphere on the Ishtar Terra continent. Through the process of uplift, any remaining hornblende may have been exposed or very near exposed to the surface. Do to the amount of fluorine in the atmosphere and the interaction between this and the lithosphere, the hydroxyl ions may have been replaced with fluorine turning the hornblende into the more stable fluoro-hornblende. To further add to the mystery of Venus is the unusual atmospheric composition. The

  4. An Infrared Radiative Transfer Parameterization For A Venus General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eymet, Vincent; Fournier, R.; Lebonnois, S.; Bullock, M. A.; Dufresne, J.; Hourdin, F.

    2006-09-01

    A new 3-dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) of Venus'atmosphere is curently under development at the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique, in the context of the Venus-Express mission. Special attention was devoted to the parameterization of infrared radiative transfer: this parameterization has to be both very fast and sufficiently accurate in order to provide valid results over extented periods of time. We have developped at the Laboratoire d'Energetique a Monte-Carlo code for computing reference radiative transfer results for optically thick inhomogeneous scattering planetary atmospheres over the IR spectrum. This code (named KARINE) is based on a Net-Exchange Rates formulation, and uses a k-distribution spectral model. The Venus spectral data, that was compiled at the Southwest Research Institute, accounts for gaseous absorption and scattering, typical clouds absorption and scattering, as well as CO2 and H2O absorption continuums. We will present the Net-Exchange Rates matrix that was computed using the Monte-Carlo approach. We will also show how this matrix has been used in order to produce a first-order radiative transfer parameterization that is used in the LMD Venus GCM. In addition, we will present how the proposed radiative transfer model was used in a simple convective-radiative equilibrium model in order to reproduce the main features of Venus' temperature profile.

  5. Pioneer Mars surface penetrator mission. Mission analysis and orbiter design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The Mars Surface Penetrator mission was designed to provide a capability for multiple and diverse subsurface science measurements at a low cost. Equipment required to adapt the Pioneer Venus spacecraft for the Mars mission is described showing minor modifications to hardware. Analysis and design topics which are similar and/or identical to the Pioneer Venus program are briefly discussed.

  6. Investigating gravity waves evidences in the Venus upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, Alessandra; Altieri, Francesca; Shakun, Alexey; Zasova, Ludmila; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Bellucci, Giancarlo; Grassi, Davide

    2014-05-01

    We present a method to investigate gravity waves properties in the upper mesosphere of Venus, through the O2 nightglow observations acquired with the imaging spectrometer VIRTIS on board Venus Express. Gravity waves are important dynamical features that transport energy and momentum. They are related to the buoyancy force, which lifts air particles. Then, the vertical displacement of air particles produces density changes that cause gravity to act as restoring force. Gravity waves can manifest through fluctuations on temperature and density fields, and hence on airglow intensities. We use the O2 nightglow profiles showing double peaked structures to study the influence of gravity waves in shaping the O2 vertical profiles and infer the waves properties. In analogy to the Earth's and Mars cases, we use a well-known theory to model the O2 nightglow emissions affected by gravity waves propagation. Here we propose a statistical discussion of the gravity waves characteristics, namely vertical wavelength and wave amplitude, with respect to local time and latitude. The method is applied to about 30 profiles showing double peaked structures, and acquired with the VIRTIS/Venus Express spectrometer, during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15.

  7. Solar Powered Flight on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony; Landis, Geoff (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    Solar powered flight within the Venus environment from the surface to the upper atmosphere was evaluated. The objective was to see if a station-keeping mission was possible within this environment based on a solar power generating system. Due to the slow rotation rate of Venus it would be possible to remain within the day light side of the planet for extended periods of time. However the high wind speeds and thick cloud cover make a station-keeping solar powered mission challenging. The environment of Venus was modeled as a function of altitude from the surface. This modeling included density, temperature, solar attenuation and wind speed. Using this environmental model flight with both airships and aircraft was considered to evaluate whether a station-keeping mission is feasible. The solar power system and flight characteristics of both types of vehicles was modeled and power balance was set up to determine if the power available from the solar array was sufficient to provide enough thrust to maintain station over a fixed ground location.

  8. The geological mapping project of the Mars Express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ori, G. G.; di Iorio, A.

    2003-04-01

    The ESA mission Mars Express will send three instruments with geological mapping capability: HRSC, OMEGA, and MARSIS. The HRSC is a camera that will provide medium to high-resolution images (about 10m/pixel to 2m/pixel) in colour and stereo. OMEGA will provide maps of the surface mineralogy. MARSIS is a subsurface penetrating radar that will bring back data at depth in excess of 2000 metres. The data of Mars Express will provide a good opportunity to match different geological data sets including the subsurface geology. ESA through a peer-reviewed open competition has selected a project dealing with the geological mapping of the Mars Express data and their distribution in electronic formats. The aim of the project is to perform the geological mapping of the surface and subsurface data from HRSC, OMEGA, and MARSIS. The mapping operations will be coordinated by a scientific panel that will take care of the distribution among the scientific community of the tasks, the standardization of the geological nomenclature and of the interpretation of the data sets, and the evaluation and validation of the final products. The distribution of the tasks to the mapping teams will be done through a peer-reviewed process by the scientific panel. In order to have in Europe a community ready for such a kind of large-scale planetary project, a continuing educational programme is under way. This programme is financed by the Commission of the European Union, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. Short Courses, summer schools, and workshop have been organized in 2001 and 2002 and more will be held in the next two years. The response to this activity has been positive and the interested community has grown up to cover a large number of scientists from State members of the European Union and other European Countries. The current activity of the project deals with two tasks. The first one is to provide the proper electronic configurations and formats (hardware and

  9. Measurements Needed to Understand Superrotation and Circulation in the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parish, H. F.; Schubert, G.; Covey, C. C.

    2013-12-01

    An understanding of the dynamics of Venus' atmosphere is a high priority in future Venus research (VEXAG and the Planetary Science Decadal Survey). Venus' atmosphere is characterized by strong superrotation, in which the winds at cloud heights reach velocities over 100 m/s, around 60 times faster than the surface rotation rate. When realistic background conditions are applied, numerical models simulate cloud level superrotation with wind magnitudes smaller than the largest winds observed. In addition, no model to date has been able to generate superrotating winds in the dense atmosphere between the surface and the clouds with magnitudes comparable to those measured in situ; hence the vertically integrated atmospheric angular momentum in models is far less than observed. One obstacle to realistically modeling the atmosphere below the cloud level and understanding how angular momentum is transported from the surface to the cloud level is the scarcity of observations in Venus' lower atmosphere. The only wind profiles in the 0 to ˜40 km altitude range come from a few entry probes on the Pioneer Venus and Venera missions. Interplanetary trajectories under minimum-energy constraints largely confined these probes to low latitudes between midnight and early afternoon and measurements only covered the limited time intervals for each probe to fall to the surface. Simulated lower atmosphere winds may be sensitive to the parameterization of surface-atmosphere interactions, but the values of relevant parameters cannot currently be measured. In spite of the apparent symmetry of Venus' orbit and the lack of significant seasons, variability in space and time is also found to be an important feature of Venus' atmosphere. Periodicities with timescales of several years are found in observations of zonal winds, temperatures and composition, for example, in Pioneer Venus measurements of cloud top winds, ground based observations of CO and temperature, and measurements of SO2 taken by

  10. High Temperature, Wireless Seismometer Sensor for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponchak, George E.; Scardelletti, Maximilian C.; Taylor, Brandt; Beard, Steve; Meredith, Roger D.; Beheim, Glenn M.; Hunter Gary W.; Kiefer, Walter S.

    2012-01-01

    Space agency mission plans state the need to measure the seismic activity on Venus. Because of the high temperature on Venus (462? C average surface temperature) and the difficulty in placing and wiring multiple sensors using robots, a high temperature, wireless sensor using a wide bandgap semiconductor is an attractive option. This paper presents the description and proof of concept measurements of a high temperature, wireless seismometer sensor for Venus. A variation in inductance of a coil caused by the movement of an aluminum probe held in the coil and attached to a balanced leaf-spring seismometer causes a variation of 700 Hz in the transmitted signal from the oscillator/sensor system at 426? C. This result indicates that the concept may be used on Venus.

  11. The thermosphere and ionosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cravens, T. E.

    1992-01-01

    Our knowledge of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus and its interaction with the solar wind has advanced dramatically over the last decade, largely due to the data obtained during the Pioneer Venus mission and to the theoretical work that was motivated by this data. Most of this information was obtained during the period 1978 through 1981, when the periapsis of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) was still in the measurable atmosphere. However, solar gravitational perturbations will again lower the PVO periapsis into the upper atmosphere in September 1992, prior to the destruction of the spacecraft toward the end of this year. The physics and chemistry of the thermosphere and ionosphere of Venus are reviewed.

  12. Portuguese Participation In The Mars Express/beagle2 Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, E. I.; Portuguese Mx Teams

    Three Portuguese groups responded to the European Space Agency (ESA) second an- nouncement of opportunities for the Mars Express Mission. Projects were submitted in the fields Atmosphere and Surface/Atmosphere Interaction, Exobiology and Geologi- cal Evolution. Contacts among the groups revealed large areas of potential interaction and a necessity of active data, methods and analysis interchange. The projects will be executed in the period 2002-2006, and aim to analyse the information that will be conveyed by instruments aboard the Mars Express Orbiter and Beagle 2 Lander. Our combined projects propose to yield seven products: the Mars Orbital Viewer U MOVie U ; an apparent thermal inertia (ATI) map; a high-resolution water stability map; a lithostructural map; a hydrological potential map; a local assessment of poten- tial biomarkers; a geological map of Mars. MOVie will be a virtual-reality addressable map of Mars, based on stereoscopic images from the HSRC camera. The ATI map will draw on data from both the OMEGA (VNIR band) and PFS (NIR/TIR band) instru- ments. This map will enrich the existing atmospheric circulation models and help in the discrimination of lithotypes and hydric potential. One of our main objectives is to address the question whether water release does occur in the present epoch, which will be done by analysing the water vapour content in the low atmosphere. Data ar- riving from Beagle 2 will also be the basis for the assessment of methane contents on low martian atmosphere and soil-adsorbed gases. Atmosphere, soil and rock compo- sition data from the lander will allow for the correction of remotely sensed spectra. Classification will proceed in two phases: first an expert system will evaluate point lithologies from mineral and rock spectra; then those point lithologies will be mapped onto the planetary surface by a self-organising neural network. Mathematical mor- phology operators will also be used to perform the classification of Mars

  13. Interplanetary mission planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    A long range plan for solar system exploration is presented. The subjects discussed are: (1) science payload for first Jupiter orbiters, (2) Mercury orbiter mission study, (3) preliminary analysis of Uranus/Neptune entry probes for Grand Tour Missions, (4) comet rendezvous mission study, (5) a survey of interstellar missions, (6) a survey of candidate missions to explore rings of Saturn, and (7) preliminary analysis of Venus orbit radar missions.

  14. Zephyr: A Landsailing Rover for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; Grantier, David

    2014-01-01

    With an average temperature of 450C and a corrosive atmosphere at a pressure of 90 bars, the surface of Venus is the most hostile environment of any planetary surface in the solar system. Exploring the surface of Venus would be an exciting goal, since Venus is a planet with significant scientific mysteries, and interesting geology and geophysics. Technology to operate at the environmental conditions of Venus is under development. A rover on the surface of Venus with capability comparable to the rovers that have been sent to Mars would push the limits of technology in high-temperature electronics, robotics, and robust systems. Such a rover would require the ability to traverse the landscape on extremely low power levels. We have analyzed an innovative concept for a planetary rover: a sail-propelled rover to explore the surface of Venus. Such a rover can be implemented with only two moving parts; the sail, and the steering. Although the surface wind speeds are low (under 1 m/s), at Venus atmospheric density even low wind speeds develop significant force. Under funding by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts office, a conceptual design for such a rover has been done. Total landed mass of the system is 265 kg, somewhat less than that of the MER rovers, with a 12 square meter rigid sail. The rover folds into a 3.6 meter aeroshell for entry into the Venus atmosphere and subsequent parachute landing on the surface. Conceptual designs for a set of hightemperature scientific instruments and a UHF communication system were done. The mission design lifetime is 50 days, allowing operation during the sunlit portion of one Venus day. Although some technology development is needed to bring the high-temperature electronics to operational readiness, the study showed that such a mobility approach is feasible, and no major difficulties are seen.

  15. Robotic exploration of the surface and atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2006-10-01

    Venus, the “greenhouse planet,” is a scientifically fascinating place. The US National Academies of Sciences listed a Venus surface in situ explorer as one of the highest priority planetary science missions. A mission concept for a robotic mission to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus has been designed. The mission includes both surface robots, designed with an operational lifetime of 50 days on the surface of Venus, and also solar-powered airplanes to probe the middle atmosphere. At 450C, and with 90 atmospheres of pressure of carbon-dioxide atmosphere, the surface of Venus is a hostile place for operation of a probe. The mission design trade-off looked at three options for surface operation: developing technology to operate at Venus surface temperatures, using an active refrigeration system to lower the temperature inside a “cool electronics enclosure,” or developing a hybrid system, where the computer system and the most temperature-sensitive electronics are on an aerial platform at lower temperature, and less sophisticated surface electronics operate at the ambient surface temperature. This paper presents the mission objectives, discusses the technology options for materials, power systems, electronics, and instruments, and presents a short summary of the mission.

  16. The nature of terrains of different types on the surface of Venus and selection of potential landing sites for a descent probe of the Venera-D Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, M. A.; Zasova, L. V.; Gerasimov, M. V.; Korablev, O. I.; Marov, M. Ya.; Zelenyi, L. M.; Ignat'ev, N. I.; Tuchin, A. G.

    2017-01-01

    We discuss a change in the resurfacing regimes of Venus and probable ways of forming the terrain types that make up the surface of the planet. The interpretation of the nature of the terrain types and their morphologic features allows us to characterize their scientific priority and the risk of landing on their surface to be estimated. From the scientific point of view, two terrain types are of special interest and represent easily achievable targets: the lower unit of regional plains and the smooth plains associated with impact craters. Regional plains are probably a melting from the upper fertile mantle. The material of smooth plains of impact origin is a well-mixed and representative sample of the Venusian crust. The lower unit of regional plains is the most widespread one on the surface of Venus, and it occurs within the boundaries of all of the precalculated approach trajectories of the lander. Smooth plains of impact origin are crossed by the approach trajectories precalculated for 2018 and 2026.

  17. CMEs impact Venus and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.; Wei, Y.; Woch, J.; Morgan, D.; Zhang, T.-L.; Frdorov, A.; Barabash, S.; Lundin, R.

    2012-09-01

    Most of Mars Express and Venus Express observations at Mars and Venus were carried out during the extended epoch of solar minimum. Ascending solar cycle 24 has already provided us with the intervals of the increased solar activity characterized by solar flares and coronal mass ejections. In several cases these strong solar disturbances have impacted both planets. The ASPERA-3, ASPERA-4 and MAG instruments onboard MEX and VEX complemented by the measurements on ACE and STEREO were used not only to monitor the propagation of solar disturbances at Venus and Mars positions but also to detect changes which occurred in the plasma and field environment near these planets. Simultaneous measurements by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument onboard Mars Express gives us also information about the variations which occured in the upper and lower Martian ionosphere. We incorporate these data for several events on June 2011 and February 2012 and March 2012 to infer responses of the induced magnetospheres and ionospheres of Venus and Mars to strong solar wind disturbances.

  18. Variations and Effects of the Venusian Bow Shock from VEX Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Yansong; Jin, Shuanggen

    2014-04-01

    The upper atmosphere of Venus is not shielded by planetary magnetic field from direct interaction with the solar wind. The interaction of shocked solar wind and the ionosphere results in ionopause. Magnetic barrier, the inner region of dayside magnetosheath with the dominated magnetic pressure deflects the solar wind instead of the ionopause at solar maximum. Therefore, the structure and interaction of venusian ionosphere is very complex. Although the Venus Express (VEX) arrived at Venus in April 2006 provides more knowledge on the Venusian ionosphere and plasma environment, compared to Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) with about 14 years of observations, some important details are still unknown (e.g., long Venusian bow shock variations and effects). In this paper, the bow shock positions of Venus are determined and analyzed from magnetometer (MAG) and ASPERA-4 of the Venus Express mission from May 28, 2006 to August 17, 2010. Results show that the altitude of BS was mainly affected by SZA (solar zenith angle) and Venus bow shocks inbound and outbound are asymmetry.

  19. High Altitude Venus Operations Concept Trajectory Design, Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lugo, Rafael A.; Ozoroski, Thomas A.; Van Norman, John W.; Arney, Dale C.; Dec, John A.; Jones, Christopher A.; Zumwalt, Carlie H.

    2015-01-01

    A trajectory design and analysis that describes aerocapture, entry, descent, and inflation of manned and unmanned High Altitude Venus Operation Concept (HAVOC) lighter-than-air missions is presented. Mission motivation, concept of operations, and notional entry vehicle designs are presented. The initial trajectory design space is analyzed and discussed before investigating specific trajectories that are deemed representative of a feasible Venus mission. Under the project assumptions, while the high-mass crewed mission will require further research into aerodynamic decelerator technology, it was determined that the unmanned robotic mission is feasible using current technology.

  20. Variability of the Venus condensational clouds from analysis of VIRTIS-M-IR observations of the near-infrared spectral windows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGouldrick, Kevin; Tsang, Constantine C. C.

    2015-11-01

    The Medium Resolution, Infrared wavelength channel of the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS-M-IR) on the Venus Express spacecraft observed the atmosphere and surface of Venus for 921 orbits following orbit insertion in April 2006 until the failure of the cooling unit in October 2008. The clouds of Venus were long thought to be a uniform sort of perpetual stratocumulus, but near infrared observations by fly-by spacecraft such as Galileo (Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) and Cassini (Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer), as well as ground-based observations, indicated a great deal of temporal and spatial inhomogeneity. The nearly three-year lifetime of the VIRTIS-M-IR instrument on Venus Express presents an unprecedented opportunity to quantify these spatial and temporal variations of the Venus clouds. Here, we present the results of an initial quantification of the overall tendencies of the Venus clouds, as measured by variations in the near infrared spectral windows located between wavelengths of 1.0 µm and 2.6 µm. In a companion submission, we also investigate the variations of carbon monoxide and other trace species quantifiable in these data (Tsang and McGouldrick 2015). This work is supported by the Planetary Mission Data Analysis Program, Grant Number NNX14AP94G.

  1. High Temperature Mechanisms for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Jerri; Narine, Roop; Kumar, Nishant; Singh, Sase; Gorevan, Steven

    Future Venus missions, including New Frontiers Venus In-Situ Explorer and three Flagship Missions - Venus Geophysical Network, Venus Mobile Explorer and Venus Surface Sample Return all focus on searching for evidence of past climate change both on the surface and in the atmospheric composition as well as in the interior dynamics of the planet. In order to achieve these goals and objectives, many key technologies need to be developed for the Venus extreme environment. These key technologies include sample acquisition systems and other high-temperature mechanisms and mobility systems capable of extended operation when directly exposed to the Venus surface or lower atmosphere environment. Honeybee Robotics has developed two types of high temperature motors, the materials and components in both motors were selected based on the requirement to survive temperatures above a minimum of 460° C, at earth atmosphere. The prototype Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM) has been operated non-continuously for over 20 hours at Venus-like conditions (460° C temperature, mostly CO2 gas environment) and it remains functional. A drilling system, actuated by two SRMs was tested in Venus-like conditions, 460° C temperature and mostly CO2 gas environment, for more than 15 hours. The drill successfully completed three tests by drilling into chalk up to 6 inches deep in each test. A first generation Brushless DC (BLDC) Motor and high temperature resolver were also tested and the feasibility of the designs was demonstrated by the extended operation of both devices under Venus-like condition. Further development of the BLDC motor and resolver continues and these devices will, ultimately, be integrated into the development of a high temperature sample acquisition scoop and high temperature joint (awarded SBIR Phase II in October, 2007). Both the SR and BLDC motors will undergo extensive testing at Venus temperature and pressure (TRL6) and are expected to be mission ready before the next New

  2. Spatial and Temporal distribution of CO_{2} 4.3-mu m NLTE Emission from nadir VIRTIS-H/Venus Express observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peralta, Javier; Ángel López-Valverde, Miguel; Gilli, Gabriella; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2010-05-01

    Non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (non-LTE) emissions are known to play a key role in the radiative heating and cooling of the Venus mesosphere and lower thermosphere (Dickinson, JAS, 1973; Roldan et al., Icarus, 2000). In the case of the Venusian atmosphere, CO2 vibrational-rotational emissions at 4.3 μm and 2.7 μm were predicted to give intense emissions, and since they are originated between 80 and 150 km, their observation might give information on the atmospheric parameters at those altitudes, depending on sensitivity and spectral resolution. The VIRTIS spectrometer on board Venus Express allows for the first time the systematic sounding of these bands in the Venus atmosphere, both in nadir and limb observing geometries. The limb data by VIRTIS has been recently studied by our team (Gilli et al., JGR, 2009; López-Valverde et al., 2010 submitted; Gilli et al., 2010 submitted), focusing on its vertical distribution and the validation of non-LTE models, but an exhaustive study of nadir observations has not been presented so far, except for the detection of gravity waves by García et al. (2008; 2009). In this work, we have used the nadir observations to study the horizontal distribution of the CO2 non-LTE emissions at 4.3 μm, mainly originated at altitudes about ~110 km. The analyzed dataset comprises the whole nadir measurements with VIRTIS-H (the highest spectral resolution channel) obtained up to September 2009, covering nearly 900 days of observations and more than 140,000 spectra. Similarly to the case of limb data, it was found that the nadir radiance depends not only on the Solar Zenith Angle, but also on the Emission Angle, as predicted by our non-LTE model. After careful radiance averages, the small dispersion found in the mean emission of this band suggests that the Venus lower thermosphere is more stable than expected, with scarce episodes of significant variation during the studied period. Since the spectral resolution of VIRTIS-H allows

  3. Venus Aerobot Surface Science Imaging System (VASSIS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1999-01-01

    The VASSIS task was to design and develop an imaging system and container for operation above the surface of Venus in preparation for a Discovery-class mission involving a Venus aerobot balloon. The technical goals of the effort were to: a) evaluate the possible nadir-viewed surface image quality as a function of wavelength and altitude in the Venus lower atmosphere, b) design a pressure vessel to contain the imager and supporting electronics that will meet the environmental requirements of the VASSIS mission, c) design and build a prototype imaging system including an Active-Pixel Sensor camera head and VASSIS-like optics that will meet the science requirements. The VASSIS science team developed a set of science requirements for the imaging system upon which the development work of this task was based.

  4. Study and Implementation of the End-to-End Data Pipeline for the Virtis Imaging Spectrometer Onbaord Venus Express: "From Science Operations Planning to Data Archiving and Higher Lever Processing"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardesín Moinelo, Alejandro

    2010-04-01

    This PhD Thesis describes the activities performed during the Research Program undertaken for two years at the Istituto Nazionale di AstroFisica in Rome, Italy, as active member of the VIRTIS Technical and Scientific Team, and one additional year at the European Space Astronomy Center in Madrid, Spain, as member of the Mars Express Science Ground Segment. This document will show a study of all sections of the Science Ground Segment of the Venus Express mission, from the planning of the scientific operations, to the generation, calibration and archiving of the science data, including the production of valuable high level products. We will present and discuss here the end-to-end diagram of the ground segment from the technical and scientific point of view, in order to describe the overall flow of information: from the original scientific requests of the principal investigator and interdisciplinary teams, up to the spacecraft, and down again for the analysis of the measurements and interpretation of the scientific results. These scientific results drive to new and more elaborated scientific requests, which are used as feedback to the planning cycle, closing the circle. Special attention is given here to describe the implementation and development of the data pipeline for the VIRTIS instrument onboard Venus Express. During the research program, both the raw data generation pipeline and the data calibration pipeline were developed and automated in order to produce the final raw and calibrated data products from the input telemetry of the instrument. The final raw and calibrated products presented in this work are currently being used by the VIRTIS Science team for data analysis and are distributed to the whole scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive. More than 20,000 raw data files and 10,000 calibrated products have already been generated after almost 4 years of mission. In the final part of the Thesis, we will also present some high level data

  5. The Atmosphere and Climate of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, M. A.; Grinspoon, D. H.

    Venus lies just sunward of the inner edge of the Sun's habitable zone. Liquid water is not stable. Like Earth and Mars, Venus probably accreted at least an ocean's worth of water, although there are alternative scenarios. The loss of this water led to the massive, dry CO2 atmosphere, extensive H2SO4 clouds (at least some of the time), and an intense CO2 greenhouse effect. This chapter describes the current understanding of Venus' atmosphere, established from the data of dozens of spacecraft and atmospheric probe missions since 1962, and by telescopic observations since the nineteenth century. Theoretical work to model the temperature, chemistry, and circulation of Venus' atmosphere is largely based on analogous models developed in the Earth sciences. We discuss the data and modeling used to understand the temperature structure of the atmosphere, as well as its composition, cloud structure, and general circulation. We address what is known and theorized about the origin and early evolution of Venus' atmosphere. It is widely understood that Venus' dense CO2 atmosphere is the ultimate result of the loss of an ocean to space, but the timing of major transitions in Venus' climate is very poorly constrained by the available data. At present, the bright clouds allow only 20% of the sunlight to drive the energy balance and therefore determine conditions at Venus' surface. Like Earth and Mars, differential heating between the equator and poles drives the atmospheric circulation. Condensable species in the atmosphere create clouds and hazes that drive feedbacks that alter radiative forcing. Also in common with Earth and Mars, the loss of light, volatile elements to space produces long-term changes in composition and chemistry. As on Earth, geologic processes are most likely modifying the atmosphere and clouds by injecting gases from volcanos as well as directly through chemical reactions with the surface. The sensitivity of Venus' atmospheric energy balance is quantified in

  6. Systems design study of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Volume 3. Specifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Pioneer Venus spacecraft performance requirements are presented. The specifications include: (1) Design criteria and performance requirements for the Pioneer Venus spacecraft systems and subsystems for a 1978 multiprobe mission and a 1978 orbiter mission, spacecraft system interface, and scientific instrument integration.

  7. Neutral Mass Spectrometry for Venus Atmosphere and Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The nature of the divergent evolution of the terrestrial planets Venus, Earth, and Mars is a fundamental problem in planetary science that is most relevant to understanding the characteristics of small planets we are likely to discover in extrasolar systems and the number of such systems that may support habitable environments. For this reason, the National Research Council's Decadal Survey gives Venus exploration high priority. That report was the basis of the NASA selection of Venus as one of four prime mission targets for the recently initiated New Frontiers Program. If the Decadal Survey priorities are to be realized, in situ Venus exploration must remain a high priority. Remote sensing orbital and in situ atmospheric measurements from entry probe or balloon platforms might be realized under the low cost Discovery missions while both atmospheric and landed surface measurements are envisioned with the intermediate class missions of the New Frontiers Program.

  8. Results On Atmospheric Dynamics At The Venus Cloud Tops From Digital And Manual Wind Tracking In Vmc Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moissl, Richard; Limaye, S. S.; Khatuntsev, I.; Markiewicz, W. J.; Titov, D. V.

    2008-09-01

    The upper clouds of Venus have been studied extensively from ground and space borne observations in the past, especially in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. To date we know that the atmosphere of Venus is in a constant state of super-rotation, reaching speeds around 100 m/s at the cloud tops and that the cloud markings in the UV are caused by SO2 and another, yet unknown, UV absorber. This presentation deals with the results on the atmospheric dynamics at the cloud top region ( 65-70 km above the surface) of Venus, derived from manual and automated cloud tracking in the UV channel (wavelength= 365 +/- 10 nm) of the Venus Monitoring Camera Experiment (VMC) on board the Venus Express mission. With the VMC it became possible to investigate the global dynamics with a relatively high resolution in space and time on a long term basis. In addition to the confirmation of results from previous studies on the atmospheric dynamics, the observations of the southern hemisphere by the VMC allowed for detailed studies of the strong cloud-level super-rotation phenomenon on Venus and its variability on different timescales ranging from hours to several months. Information on the latitudinal wind speed profiles could be obtained for latitudes up to 85 degrees south, extending the results from previous studies by almost 20 degrees. Global wave modes which are believed to play a key role for understanding energy transport phenomena in the venusian atmosphere, such as a 4-day Kelvin wave mode in low latitudes and diurnal and semidiurnal solar thermal tides have been detected in the analysis cloud tracked wind fields of the southern hemisphere of Venus.

  9. Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) - A Low Cost Venus Exploration Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, G.; Polidan, R. S.; Ross, F.

    2015-12-01

    The Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and L-Garde team has been developing an innovative mission concept: a long-lived, maneuverable platform to explore the Venus upper atmosphere. This capability is an implementation of our Lifting Entry Atmospheric Flight (LEAF) system concept, and the Venus implementation is called the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP). The VAMP concept utilizes an ultra-low ballistic coefficient (< 50 Pa), semi-buoyant aircraft that deploys prior to entering the Venus atmosphere, enters without an aeroshell, and provides a long-lived (months to a year) maneuverable vehicle capable of carrying science instruments to explore the Venus upper atmosphere. In this presentation we provide an update on the air vehicle design and a low cost pathfinder mission concept that can be implemented in the near-term. The presentation also provides an overview of our plans for future trade studies, analyses, and prototyping to advance and refine the concept. We will discuss the air vehicle's entry concepts of operations (CONOPs) and atmospheric science operations. We will present a strawman concept of a VAMP pathfinder, including ballistic coefficient, planform area, percent buoyancy, wing span, vehicle mass, power supply, propulsion, materials considerations, structural elements, and instruments accommodation. In this context, we will discuss the following key factors impacting the design and performance of VAMP: Entry into the Venus atmosphere, including descent profile, heating rate, total heat load, stagnation, and acreage temperatures Impact of maximum altitude on air vehicle design and entry heating Candidate thermal protection system (TPS) requirements We will discuss the interdependencies of the above factors and the manner in which the VAMP pathfinder concept's characteristics affect the CONOPs and the science objectives. We will show how the these factors provide constraints as well as enable opportunities for novel long duration

  10. High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC): Proofs of Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Christopher A.; Arney, Dale C.; Bassett, George Z.; Clark, James R.; Hennig, Anthony I.; Snyder, Jessica C.

    2015-01-01

    The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration. A recent internal NASA study of a High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) led to the development of an evolutionary program for the exploration of Venus, with focus on the mission architecture and vehicle concept for a 30-day crewed mission into Venus's atmosphere at 50 kilometers. Key technical challenges for the mission include performing the aerocapture maneuvers at Venus and Earth, inserting and inflating the airship at Venus during the entry sequence, and protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere. Two proofs of concept were identified that would aid in addressing some of the key technical challenges. To mitigate the threat posed by the sulfuric acid ambient in the atmosphere of Venus, a material was needed that could protect the systems while being lightweight and not inhibiting the performance of the solar panels. The first proof of concept identified candidate materials and evaluated them, finding FEP-Teflon (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene-Teflon) to maintain 90 percent transmittance to relevant spectra even after 30 days of immersion in concentrated sulfuric acid. The second proof of concept developed and verified a packaging algorithm for the airship envelope to inform the entry, descent, and inflation analysis.

  11. Solar wind interactions with Venus and Mars: a comparative study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, H.; Russell, C. T.; Zhang, T.

    2013-05-01

    Due to the lack of a significant global magnetic field, the ionospheres of Venus and Mars stand off the solar wind and form a bow shock close to the planet, an induced magnetosphere, and an ionopause. Depending on the relative strength of the thermal pressure in the ionosphere and the dynamic pressure in the solar wind, the lower ionosphere can be in unmagnetized or magnetized states when the interplanetary fields are shielded above the ionopause or penetrate below. Magnetic flux ropes, which are bundles of twisted field lines, form in the lower ionosphere as small structures with diameters of a few kilometers or large structures with diameters of hundreds of kilometers. The data from Venus Express and Mars Global Surveyor missions are investigated to understand the formation of these structures and their effects in these ionospheres. On the topside of the ionosphere, particles originated from the planet are accelerated by the electro-magnetic force in the solar wind and carried away in a process called ion pickup. The pickup process and particle escape rate are examined using observations of ion cyclotron waves in the magnetic field data of these missions.

  12. Dynamics investigation in the Venus upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Altieri, F.; Shakun, A.; Zasova, L.; Piccioni, G.; Bellucci, G.

    The O_2 nightglow emissions in the infrared spectral range are important features to investigate dynamics at the mesospheric altitudes, in the planetary atmosphere. In this work, we analyzed the profiles obtained at limb by the VIRTIS spectrometer on board the Venus Express mission, acquired during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15 to investigate possible gravity waves characteristics at the airglow altitudes. Indeed, several profiles present double peaked structures that can be interpreted as due to gravity waves. In analogy to the Earth's and Mars cases, we use a well-known theory to model the O_2 nightglow emissions affected by gravity waves propagation, in order to support this thesis and derive the waves properties. We discuss results from 30 profiles showing double peaked structures, focusing on vertical wavelength and wave amplitude of the possible gravity waves. On average, the double peaked profiles are compatible with the effects of gravity waves with a vertical wavelength ranging between 7 and 16 km, and wave amplitude of 3-14%. A comparison with gravity waves properties in the Mars and Earth's atmospheres, using the same theory, is also proposed \\citep{altieri_2014}. \\ The research is supported by ASI (contract ASI-INAF I/050/10/0).

  13. On the Possibility of Microbiota Transfer from Venus to Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.

    The possibility of the clouds of Venus providing habitats for extremophilic microorganisms has been discussed for several decades. We show here that the action of the solar wind leads to erosion of parts of the atmosphere laden with aerosols and putative microorganisms, forming a comet-like tail in the antisolar direction. During inferior conjunctions that coincide with transits of the planet Venus this comet-like tail intersects the Earth's magnetopause and injects aerosol particles. Data from ESA's Venus Express spacecraft and from SOHO are used to discuss the ingress of bacteria from Venus into the Earth's atmosphere, which we estimate as ~1011-1013 cells for each transit event.

  14. LUGH, the Proposed Mercury Express Mission, as an Ideal, Current, Low-Cost, Low-Risk Option for Mercury Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, P. E.; Lawlor, S. McKenna; Curtis, S.; Marr, G.; Giles, B.

    2000-01-01

    We propose an ESA Flexi Mission, LUGH, Mercury Express Mission, an extremely fast, low cost, low risk, high return, three-platform, multiple flyby mission which would provide data which are unique and complimentary to recently selected long lead time Mercury missions.

  15. Venus Exploration Power Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surampudi, R.; Bugga, K.; Grandidier, J.; Cutts, J. A.; Beauchamp, P. M.

    2017-02-01

    Venus with its severe temperatures and pressures presents formidable challenges for powering in situ exploration vehicles. This paper describes possible approaches for both power generation and energy storage.

  16. Colonization of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    Although the surface of Venus is an extremely hostile environment, at about 50 kilometers above the surface the atmosphere of Venus is the most earthlike environment (other than Earth itself) in the solar system. It is proposed here that in the near term, human exploration of Venus could take place from aerostat vehicles in the atmosphere, and that in the long term, permanent settlements could be made in the form of cities designed to float at about fifty kilometer altitude in the atmosphere of Venus.

  17. Stirling Cooler Designed for Venus Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Mellott, Kenneth D.

    2004-01-01

    Venus having an average surface temperature of 460 degrees Celsius (about 860 degrees Fahrenheit) and an atmosphere 150 times denser than the Earth's atmosphere, designing a robot to merely survive on the surface to do planetary exploration is an extremely difficult task. This temperature is hundreds of degrees higher than the maximum operating temperature of currently existing microcontrollers, electronic devices, and circuit boards. To meet the challenge of Venus exploration, researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center studied methods to keep a pressurized electronics package cooled, so that the operating temperature within the electronics enclosure would be cool enough for electronics to run, to allow a mission to operate on the surface of Venus for extended periods.

  18. Multilayer modeling of the aureole photometry during the Venus transit: comparison between SDO/HMI and VEx/SOIR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pere, C.; Tanga, P.; Widemann, Th.; Bendjoya, Ph.; Mahieux, A.; Wilquet, V.; Vandaele, A. C.

    2016-11-01

    Context. The mesosphere of Venus is a critical range of altitudes in which complex temperature variability has been extensively studied by the space mission Venus Express (VEx) during its eight-year mission (2006-2014). In particular, the Solar Occultation in the InfraRed (SOIR) instrument probed the morning and evening terminator in the 70-170 km altitude region, at latitudes extending from pole to pole, using spectroscopic multiband observations collected during occultations of the Sun at the limb. Data collected at different epochs and latitudes show evidence of short and medium timescale variability as well as latitudinal differences. Spatial and temporal variability is also predicted in mesospheric and thermospheric terminator models with lower boundary conditions at 70 km near cloud tops. Aims: The Venus transit on June 5-6, 2012 was the first to occur with a spacecraft in orbit around Venus. It has been shown that sunlight refraction in the mesosphere of Venus is able to provide useful constraints on mesospheric temperatures at the time of the transit. The European Space Agency's Venus Express provided space-based observations of Venus during the transit. Simultaneously, the Venus aureole photometry was observed using ground-based facilities and solar telescopes orbiting Earth (NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory, JAXA's HINODE). As the properties of spatial and temporal variability of the mesosphere are still debated, the opportunity of observing it at all latitudes at the same time, offered by the transit, is rather unique. In this first paper, we establish new methods for analyzing the photometry of the so-called aureole that is produced by refraction of the solar light, and we investigate the choice of physical models that best reproduce the observations. Methods: We compared the refractivity profile obtained by SOIR at the time of the June 2012 transit to the aureole photometry. For this goal, we explored isothermal and multilayered refraction models of

  19. System design of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Volume 1: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorfman, S. D.

    1973-01-01

    The NASA Ames Research Center Pioneer Venus Project objective is to conduct scientific investigations of the planet Venus using spin stabilized spacecraft. The defined approach to accomplish this goal is to implement a multiprobe spacecraft mission and an orbiter spacecraft mission. Candidate launch vehicles for the Pioneer Venus missions were the Thor/Delta and Atlas/Centaur. The multiprobe spacecraft consists of a probe bus, one large probe, and three small probes. The probes are designed to survive to the surface of Venus, and to make in situ measurements of the Venusian atmosphere; the probe bus enters the atmosphere and makes scientific measurements until it burns out. The orbiter mission uses a spacecraft designed to orbit Venus for 225 days with an orbit period of about 24 hours (h). The probe bus and orbiter designs are to use a common spacecraft bus.

  20. Registration of 'VENUS' peanut

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    VENUS is a large-seeded high-oleic Virginia-type peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. subsp. hypogaea var. hypogaea) that has enhanced Sclerotinia blight and pod rot resistance when compared to the cultivar Jupiter. VENUS is the first high-oleic Virginia peanut developed for optimal performance in the South...

  1. Venus Exploration to 2050

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Grimm, R. E.; Gilmore, M.

    2017-02-01

    Venus should be an Earth-like planet due to its similar size and position in the solar system, but it has developed very differently. The Venus Exploration Assessment Group (VEXAG) has formulated long-range plans to explore our puzzling sister planet.

  2. Venus: Geochemical conclusions from the Magellan data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. A.

    1992-01-01

    Though the Magellan mission was not designed to collect geochemical or petrological information, it has done so nonetheless. Since the time of the Pioneer Venus mission it has been known that high-altitude (greater than 2.5-5 km) mountainous areas on Venus exhibit anomalously low radiothermal emissivity (e less than 0.6). Magellan has greatly refined and extended these observations. The low emissivity requires surface material in the uplands to have a mineralogical composition that gives it a high bulk dielectric constant, greater than 20. The dielectric constant of dry terrestrial volcanic rocks seldom exceeds 7. The high-dielectric character of high-altitude surface material cannot be a primary property of the local volcanic rock, because there is no reason why rock having the required special mineralogy would erupt only at high altitudes. Therefore it is a secondary property; the primary Venus rock has reacted with the atmosphere to form a mineralogically different surface layer, and the secondary minerals formed are controlled by the ambient temperature, which decreases with altitude on Venus. A further investigation of venusian mineralogy is presented.

  3. Venus round trip using solar sail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, KaiJian; Zhang, RongZhi; Xu, Dong; Wang, JiaSong; Li, ShaoMin

    2012-08-01

    Trajectory optimization and simulation is performed for Venus round trip (VeRT) mission using solar sail propulsion. Solar gravity is included but atmospheric drag and shadowing effects are neglected in the planet-centered escape and capture stages. The spacecraft starts from the Geostationary orbit (GEO) at a predetermined time to prepare a good initial condition for the Earth-Venus transfer, although the launch window is not an issue for spacecraft with solar sails. The Earth-Venus phase and the return trip are divided into three segments. Two methods are adopted to maintain the mission trajectory for the VeRT mission and then compared through a numerical simulation. According to the first approach, Planet-centered and heliocentric maneuvers are modeled using a set of blended analytical control laws instead of the optimal control techniques. The second procedure is the Direct Attitude Angle Optimization in which the attitude angles of the solar sail are adopted as the optimization variables during the heliocentric transfer. Although neither of the two methods guarantees a globally optimal trajectory, they are more efficient and will produce a near-optimal solution if employed properly. The second method has produced a better result for the minimum-time transfer of the VeRT mission demonstrating the effectiveness of the methods in the preliminary design of the complex optimal interplanetary orbit transfers.

  4. Venus Cloud Patterns (colorized and filtered)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This picture of Venus was taken by the Galileo spacecrafts Solid State Imaging System on February 14, 1990, at a range of almost 1.7 million miles from the planet. A highpass spatial filter has been applied in order to emphasize the smaller scale cloud features, and the rendition has been colorized to a bluish hue in order to emphasize the subtle contrasts in the cloud markings and to indicate that it was taken through a violet filter. The sulfuric acid clouds indicate considerable convective activity, in the equatorial regions of the planet to the left and downwind of the subsolar point (afternoon on Venus). They are analogous to 'fair weather clouds' on Earth. The filamentary dark features visible in the colorized image are here revealed to be composed of several dark nodules, like beads on a string, each about 60 miles across. The Galileo Project is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; its mission is to study Jupiter and its satellites and magnetosphere after multiple gravity assist flybys at Venus and Earth. These images of the Venus clouds were taken by Galileo's Solid State Imaging System February 13, 1990, at a range of about 1 million miles. The smallest detail visible is about 20 miles. The two right images show Venus in violet light, the top one at a time six hours later than the bottom one. They show the state of the clouds near the top of Venus's cloud deck. A right to left motion of the cloud features is evident and is consistent with westward winds of about 230 mph. The two left images show Venus in near infrared light, at the same times as the two right images. Sunlight penetrates through the clouds more deeply at the near infrared wavelengths, allowing a view near the bottom of the cloud deck. The westward motion of the clouds is slower (about 150 mph) at the lower altitude. The clouds are composed of sulfuric acid droplets and occupy a range of altitudes from 30 to 45 miles. The images have

  5. Pioneer Venus Data Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Douglas E.

    1996-01-01

    Analysis and interpretation of data from the Orbiter Retarding Potential Analyzer (ORPA) onboard the Pioneer Venus Orbiter is reported. By comparing ORPA data to proton data from the Orbiter Plasma Analyzer (OPA), it was found that the ORPA suprathermal electron densities taken outside the Venusian ionopause represent solar wind electron densities, thus allowing the high resolution study of Venus bow shocks using both magnetic field and solar wind electron data. A preliminary analysis of 366 bow shock penetrations was completed using the solar wind electron data as determined from ORPA suprathermal electron densities and temperatures, resulting in an estimate of the extent to which mass loading pickup of O+ (UV ionized O atoms flowing out of the Venus atmosphere) upstream of the Venus obstacle occurred. The pickup of O+ averaged 9.95%, ranging from 0.78% to 23.63%. Detailed results are reported in two attached theses: (1) Comparison of ORPA Suprathermal Electron and OPA Solar Wind Proton Data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and (2) Pioneer Venus Orbiter Retarding Potential Analyzer Observations of the Electron Component of the Solar Wind, and of the Venus Bow Shock and Magnetosheath.

  6. Venus Gravity Handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konopliv, Alexander S.; Sjogren, William L.

    1996-01-01

    This report documents the Venus gravity methods and results to date (model MGNP90LSAAP). It is called a handbook in that it contains many useful plots (such as geometry and orbit behavior) that are useful in evaluating the tracking data. We discuss the models that are used in processing the Doppler data and the estimation method for determining the gravity field. With Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Magellan tracking data, the Venus gravity field was determined complete to degree and order 90 with the use of the JPL Cray T3D Supercomputer. The gravity field shows unprecedented high correlation with topography and resolution of features to the 2OOkm resolution. In the procedure for solving the gravity field, other information is gained as well, and, for example, we discuss results for the Venus ephemeris, Love number, pole orientation of Venus, and atmospheric densities. Of significance is the Love number solution which indicates a liquid core for Venus. The ephemeris of Venus is determined to an accuracy of 0.02 mm/s (tens of meters in position), and the rotation period to 243.0194 +/- 0.0002 days.

  7. Salt tectonics on Venus

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.A.; Amsbury, D.

    1986-05-01

    The discovery of a surprisingly high deuterium/hydrogen ratio on Venus immediately led to the speculation that Venus may have once had a volume of surface water comparable to that of the terrestrial oceans. The authors propose that the evaporation of this putative ocean may have yielded residual salt deposits that formed various terrain features depicted in Venera 15 and 16 radar images. By analogy with models for the total evaporation of the terrestrial oceans, evaporite deposits on Venus should be at least tens to hundreds of meters thick. From photogeologic evidence and in-situ chemical analyses, it appears that the salt plains were later buried by lava flows. On Earth, salt diapirism leads to the formation of salt domes, anticlines, and elongated salt intrusions - features having dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 km. Due to the rapid erosion of salt by water, surface evaporite landforms are only common in dry regions such as the Zagros Mountains of Iran, where salt plugs and glaciers exist. Venus is far drier than Iran; extruded salt should be preserved, although the high surface temperature (470/sup 0/C) would probably stimulate rapid salt flow. Venus possesses a variety of circular landforms, tens to hundreds of kilometers wide, which could be either megasalt domes or salt intrusions colonizing impact craters. Additionally, arcurate bands seen in the Maxwell area of Venus could be salt intrusions formed in a region of tectonic stress. These large structures may not be salt features; nonetheless, salt features should exist on Venus.

  8. Tidal constraints on the interior of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumoulin, Caroline; Tobie, Gabriel; Verhoeven, Olivier; Rosenblatt, Pascal; Rambaux, Nicolas

    2016-10-01

    As a prospective study for a future exploration of Venus, we propose to systematically investigate the signature of the internal structure in the gravity field and the rotation state of Venus, through the determination of the moment of inertia and the tidal Love number.We test various mantle compositions, core size and density as well as temperature profiles representative of different scenarios for formation and evolution of Venus. The mantle density ρ and seismic vP and vS wavespeeds are computed in a consistent manner from given temperature and composition using the Perple X program. This method computes phase equilibria and uses the thermodynamics of mantle minerals developped by Stixrude and Lithgow-Bertelloni (2011).The viscoelastic deformation of the planet interior under the action of periodic tidal forces are computed following the method of Tobie et al. (2005).For a variety of interior models of Venus, the Love number, k2, and the moment of inertia factor are computed following the method described above. The objective is to determine the sensitivity of these synthetic results to the internal structure. These synthetic data are then used to infer the measurement accuracies required on the time-varying gravitational field and the rotation state (precession rate, nutation and length of day variations) to provide useful constraints on the internal structure.We show that a better determination of k2, together with an estimation of the moment of inertia, the radial displacement, and of the time lag, if possible, will refine our knowledge on the present-day interior of Venus (size of the core, mantle temperature, composition and viscosity). Inferring these quantities from a future ex- ploration mission will provide essential constraints on the formation and evolution scenarios of Venus.

  9. AKATSUKI returns to Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Masato; Imamura, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuaki; Abe, Takumi; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Hirose, Chikako; Satoh, Takehiko; Suzuki, Makoto; Ueno, Munetaka; Yamazaki, Atsushi; Iwagami, Naomoto; Watanabe, Shigeto; Taguchi, Makoto; Fukuhara, Tetsuya; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Yamada, Manabu; Imai, Masataka; Ohtsuki, Shoko; Uemizu, Kazunori; Hashimoto, George L.; Takagi, Masahiro; Matsuda, Yoshihisa; Ogohara, Kazunori; Sato, Naoki; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Kouyama, Toru; Hirata, Naru; Nakamura, Ryosuke; Yamamoto, Yukio; Horinouchi, Takeshi; Yamamoto, Masaru; Hayashi, Yoshi-Yuki; Kashimura, Hiroki; Sugiyama, Ko-ichiro; Sakanoi, Takeshi; Ando, Hiroki; Murakami, Shin-ya; Sato, Takao M.; Takagi, Seiko; Nakajima, Kensuke; Peralta, Javier; Lee, Yeon Joo; Nakatsuka, Junichi; Ichikawa, Tsutomu; Inoue, Kozaburo; Toda, Tomoaki; Toyota, Hiroyuki; Tachikawa, Sumitaka; Narita, Shinichiro; Hayashiyama, Tomoko; Hasegawa, Akiko; Kamata, Yukio

    2016-05-01

    AKATSUKI is the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter that was designed to investigate the climate system of Venus. The orbiter was launched on May 21, 2010, and it reached Venus on December 7, 2010. Thrust was applied by the orbital maneuver engine in an attempt to put AKATSUKI into a westward equatorial orbit around Venus with a 30-h orbital period. However, this operation failed because of a malfunction in the propulsion system. After this failure, the spacecraft orbited the Sun for 5 years. On December 7, 2015, AKATSUKI once again approached Venus and the Venus orbit insertion was successful, whereby a westward equatorial orbit with apoapsis of ~440,000 km and orbital period of 14 days was initiated. Now that AKATSUKI's long journey to Venus has ended, it will provide scientific data on the Venusian climate system for two or more years. For the purpose of both decreasing the apoapsis altitude and avoiding a long eclipse during the orbit, a trim maneuver was performed at the first periapsis. The apoapsis altitude is now ~360,000 km with a periapsis altitude of 1000-8000 km, and the period is 10 days and 12 h. In this paper, we describe the details of the Venus orbit insertion-revenge 1 (VOI-R1) and the new orbit, the expected scientific information to be obtained at this orbit, and the Venus images captured by the onboard 1-µm infrared camera, ultraviolet imager, and long-wave infrared camera 2 h after the successful initiation of the VOI-R1.

  10. Study On The Upper Atmosphere Of Venus At The Terminator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Johanna-Laina; Bougher, S. W.; Hicks, G. A.; Brecht, A. S.; Parkinson, C.; Mahieux, A.; Wilquet, V.; Vandaele, A.; Bertaux, J.

    2012-10-01

    Observations have been made using the SOIR instrument aboard the Venus Express (VEx) mission characterizing the temperature and carbon dioxide profiles at the terminators. Using the Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM), these profiles can also be modeled at the terminators for many latitudes. For this research, the SOIR and VTGCM profiles are averaged in the following northern latitude bins; 0-30, 30-60, 70-80, 80-90. Using the data from SOIR and outputs from the VTGCM, one can determine how well the current model reproduces the observations at the terminator. In the current VTGCM model, the temperature maximum and minimums characteristic of the data profiles are the same if not very similar with the exception of the magnitude of these characteristic features. The SOIR data tends to reveal more extreme maximum and minimum temperatures as compared to the simulated VTGCM values. Some assumptions made in the data processing technique used to determine the SOIR profile retrievals may not be valid. This causes temperatures around 125 km and above 140 km to not be as accurately represented. VTGCM thermal balance plots help address this problem. In addition, these balances provide insight as to why the model may not be in complete agreement with these SOIR profiles while also determining any missing physical processes that are not included in the current VTGCM framework. Data-model comparisons will also be considered for variable VTGCM parameters, including solar minimum and moderate fluxes as well as extremes of the wave drag parameter yielding minimum and maximum terminator winds. Using the VTGCM model in correspondence with data collected from the SOIR instrument, this study will characterize the overall climate at the Venus terminators and give insight into the physical mechanisms responsible.

  11. In situ and remote measurements of ions escaping from Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollmann, P.; Brandt, P. C.

    2013-12-01

    Venus is thought to lose a large fraction of its atmosphere in the form ions, mainly via pickup. The relative loss rate of the exosphere as neutrals or ions is not known, nor is the flux of escaping ions well constrained. Knowledge of these processes will shed light on the role an intrinsic magnetic field has in atmospheric erosion. We use the complementary in-situ plasma and energetic neutral atom (ENA) measurements from the Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft in order to constrain the ion escape. VEx completed about 2500 orbits to date and reached altitudes as low as 200km. The ASPERA/IMA instrument measured directional proton and oxygen ion spectra in the 10eV to 40keV range. We bin the data accumulated over the mission in space and bulk flow direction, yielding a direct measure of the local ion escape flux. While such in-situ measurements provide data without ambiguity, they are limited by the orbital coverage. This is why we include remote ENA measurements from the ASPERA/NPD (100eV to 10keV) instrument to our study. ENAs are created when escaping ions charge exchange with the high atmosphere atoms or molecules. We have done an exhaustive analysis of the data, excluding time periods of instrument contamination. Most ENA emission originates from low altitudes above Venus' limb. These measurements will be compared with the in-situ data, which allows constraining the atmospheric density at high altitudes. Interestingly, there are also ENA emissions from other directions, which were not sampled in-situ. This allows us to put a lower limit to the escape from these regions.

  12. Does Venus wobble

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoder, C. F.; Ward, W. R.

    1979-01-01

    The free wobble damping time for Venus due to solar tides and rotational flexing is found to be approximately 700,000 times Q sub omega years, where Q sub omega is the dissipation function associated with the wobble frequency. The slow spin and expected small (nonhydrostatic) J2 predict a very long wobble period of about 100,000 years. As a result, a simple scaling of the earth's Chandler wobble excitation rate to that of Venus suggests that an appreciable wobble could exist. Detection (or lack thereof) of a free wobble may thus place constraints on the dynamic activity (e.g., mantle convection, Venusquakes, etc.) of the Venus interior.

  13. COMPASS Final Report: Advanced Lithium Ion Venus Explorer (ALIVE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Paul, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The COncurrent Multi-disciplinary Preliminary Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) Team partnered with the Applied Research Laboratory to perform a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program study to evaluate chemical based power systems for keeping a Venus lander alive(power and cooling) and functional for a period of days. The mission class targeted was either a Discovery ($500M) or New Frontiers ($750M to $780M) class mission. Historic Soviet Venus landers have only lasted on the order of 2 hours in the extreme Venus environment: temperatures of 460 C and pressures of 93 bar. Longer duration missions have been studied using plutonium powered systems to operate and cool landers for up to a year. However, the plutonium load is very large. This NIAC study sought to still provide power and cooling but without the plutonium.

  14. HIGH-RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGING OF THE 2004 TRANSIT OF VENUS AND ASYMMETRIES IN THE CYTHEREAN ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, Glenn; Widemann, Thomas

    2011-04-15

    This paper presents the only space-borne optical-imaging observations of the 2004 June 8 transit of Venus, the first such transit visible from Earth since AD 1882. The high-resolution, high-cadence satellite images we arranged from NASA's Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) reveal the onset of visibility of Venus's atmosphere and give further information about the black-drop effect, whose causes we previously demonstrated from TRACE observations of a transit of Mercury. The atmosphere is gradually revealed before second contact and after third contact, resulting from the changing depth of atmospheric layers refracting the photospheric surface into the observer's direction. We use Venus Express observations to relate the atmospheric arcs seen during the transit to the atmospheric structure of Venus. Finally, we relate the transit images to current and future exoplanet observations, providing a sort of ground truth showing an analog in our solar system to effects observable only with light curves in other solar systems with the Kepler and CoRoT missions and ground-based exoplanet-transit observations.

  15. SOHO Sees Venus' Approach

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows the Sun's corona and Venus' approach for the transit. This was taken with the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) in ...

  16. The Atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, J. E. (Editor)

    1975-01-01

    Topics considered at the conference included the dynamics, structure, chemistry, and evolution of the Venus atmosphere, as well as cloud physics and motion. Infrared, ultraviolet, and radio occultation methods of analysis are discussed, and atmospheric models are described.

  17. System design of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Volume 2: Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acheson, L. K.

    1973-01-01

    The objectives of the low-cost Pioneer Venus space probe program are discussed. The space mission and science requirements are analyzed. The subjects considered are as follows: (1) the multiprobe mission, (2) the orbiter mission, (3) science payload accomodations, and (4) orbiter spacecraft experimental interface specifications. Tables of data are provided to show the science allocations for large and small probes. Illustrations of the systems and components of various probe configurations are included.

  18. Three-dimensional modelling of Venus photochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolzenbach, Aurélien; Lefèvre, Franck; Lebonnois, Sébastien; Määttänen, Anni; Bekki, Slimane

    2014-05-01

    We have developed a new code of the Venus atmospheric chemistry based on our photochemical model already in use for Mars (e.g., Lefèvre et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2004). For Venus, the code also includes a parameterized treatment of cloud microphysics that computes the composition of sulphuric acid droplets and their number density based on a given droplet size distribution in altitude. We coupled this photochemical-microphysical package to the LMD general circulation model of Venus (Lebonnois et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2010) with a sedimentation module recently added. We will describe preliminary results obtained with this first three-dimensional model of the Venus photochemistry. The space and time distribution of key chemical species as well as the modelled clouds characteristics will be detailed and compared to observations performed from Venus Express and from the Earth (e.g. Knollenberg and Hunten, J. Geophys. Res., 1980 ; Wilquet et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2009 ; Sandor et al., Icarus, 2012).

  19. Three-Dimensional Modelling of Venus Photochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolzenbach, A.; Lefèvre, F.; Lebonnois, S.; Maattanen, A. E.; Bekki, S.

    2015-12-01

    We have developed a new code of the Venus atmospheric chemistry based on our photochemical model already in use for Mars (e.g., Lefèvre et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2004). For Venus, the code also includes a parameterized treatment of cloud microphysics that computes the composition of sulphuric acid droplets and their number density based on a given droplet size distribution in altitude and latitude. We coupled this photochemical-microphysical package to the LMD general circulation model of Venus (Lebonnois et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2010) with a sedimentation module that takes into account the parametrized droplet size distribution. We will describe the results obtained with this first three-dimensional model of the Venus photochemistry. The space and time distribution of key chemical species as well as the modelled clouds characteristics will be detailed and compared to observations performed from Venus Express and from the Earth (e.g. Knollenberg and Hunten, J. Geophys. Res., 1980 ; Wilquet et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2009 ; Sandor et al., Icarus, 2012 ; Mahieux et al., PSS, 2014 ; Marcq et al., 2015, PSS).

  20. Solar Flight on Mars and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; LaMarre, Christopher; Colozza, Anthony

    2002-01-01

    . Fleets of solar-powered aircraft could provide an architecture for efficient and low-cost comprehensive coverage for a variety of scientific missions. Exploratory planetary mapping and atmospheric sampling can lead to a greater understanding of the greenhouse effect not only on Venus but on Earth as well.

  1. Plate tectonics on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1981-01-01

    The high surface temperature of Venus implies a permanently buoyant lithosphere and a thick basaltic crust. Terrestrial-style tectonics with deep subduction and crustal recycling is not possible. Overthickened basaltic crust partially melts instead of converting to eclogite. Because mantle magmas do not have convenient access to the surface the Ar-40 abundance in the atmosphere should be low. Venus may provide an analog to Archean tectonics on the earth.

  2. Geologic Map of the Meskhent Tessera Quadrangle (V-3), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ivanov, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.

    2008-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included (1) improving the knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Meskhent Tessera quadrangle is in the northern hemisphere of Venus and extends from lat 50 degrees to 75 degrees N. and from long 60 degrees to 120 degrees E. In regional context, the Meskhent Tessera quadrangle is surrounded by extensive tessera regions to the west (Fortuna and Laima Tesserae) and to the south (Tellus Tessera) and by a large basinlike lowland (Atalanta Planitia) on the east. The northern third of the quadrangle covers the easternmost portion of the large topographic province of Ishtar Terra (northwestern map area) and the more localized upland of Tethus Regio (northeastern map area).

  3. The thermal balance of the lower atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomasko, M. G.

    1981-01-01

    The temperature near the surface of Venus (now established at 730 K) is remarkably high in view of Venus's cloud cover which causes the planet to absorb even less sunlight than does Earth. Early attempts to understand the thermal balance that leads to this unusual state were hindered by the lack of basic information regarding the composition, temperature-pressure structure, cloud properties, and wind field of the lower atmosphere. A series of successful space missions have measured many of the above quantities that control the transfer of heat in Venus's lower atmosphere. The relevant observational data are summarized and the attempts to understand the thermal balance of Venus's atmosphere below the cloud tops are reviewed. The data indicate that sufficient sunlight penetrates to deep atmospheric levels and is trapped by the large thermal opacity of the atmosphere to essentially account for the high temperatures observed.

  4. Pioneer Venus Orbiter Ultraviolet Spectrometer: Operations and Data Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, A. I. F.

    1997-01-01

    The Ultraviolet Spectrometer investigation on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter mission was extremely successful. The instrument was designed, built and tested at CU/LASP and delivered on time and within budget. The spacecraft and its instruments were required to operate for 243 days in Venus orbit. OUVS operated successfully for a further 13 years with only minor problems. The major scientific results listed above that deal with Venus were all unexpected and significant discoveries. The Comet Halley observations came about because of a favorable alignment of Halley, the Sun, and Venus, and were an important contribution to the international study of this comet. The scientific results of the OUVS investigation are to be found in the 41 papers listed in section 4 below. OUVS data provided material for 6 PhD and one MS dissertations, listed in section 5 below.

  5. Transits of Venus and Mercury as muses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobin, William

    2013-11-01

    Transits of Venus and Mercury have inspired artistic creation of all kinds. After having been the first to witness a Venusian transit, in 1639, Jeremiah Horrocks expressed his feelings in poetry. Production has subsequently widened to include songs, short stories, novels, novellas, sermons, theatre, film, engravings, paintings, photography, medals, sculpture, stained glass, cartoons, stamps, music, opera, flower arrangements, and food and drink. Transit creations are reviewed, with emphasis on the English- and French-speaking worlds. It is found that transits of Mercury inspire much less creation than those of Venus, despite being much more frequent, and arguably of no less astronomical significance. It is suggested that this is primarily due to the mythological associations of Venus with sex and love, which are more powerful and gripping than Mercury's mythological role as a messenger and protector of traders and thieves. The lesson for those presenting the night sky to the public is that sex sells.

  6. Solar Airplane Concept Developed for Venus Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    An airplane is the ideal vehicle for gathering atmospheric data over a wide range of locations and altitudes, while having the freedom to maneuver to regions of scientific interest. Solar energy is available in abundance on Venus. Venus has an exoatmospheric solar flux of 2600 W/m2, compared with Earth's 1370 W/m2. The solar intensity is 20 to 50 percent of the exoatmospheric intensity at the bottom of the cloud layer, and it increases to nearly 95 percent of the exoatmospheric intensity at 65 km. At these altitudes, the temperature of the atmosphere is moderate, in the range of 0 to 100 degrees Celsius, depending on the altitude. A Venus exploration aircraft, sized to fit in a small aeroshell for a "Discovery" class scientific mission, has been designed and analyzed at the NASA Glenn Research Center. For an exploratory aircraft to remain continually illuminated by sunlight, it would have to be capable of sustained flight at or above the wind speed, about 95 m/sec at the cloud-top level. The analysis concluded that, at typical flight altitudes above the cloud layer (65 to 75 km above the surface), a small aircraft powered by solar energy could fly continuously in the atmosphere of Venus. At this altitude, the atmospheric pressure is similar to pressure at terrestrial flight altitudes.

  7. 10. The surface and interior of venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Masursky, H.; Kaula, W.M.; McGill, G.E.; Pettengill, G.H.; Phillips, R.J.; Russell, C.T.; Schubert, G.; Shapiro, I.I.

    1977-01-01

    Present ideas about the surface and interior of Venus are based on data obtained from (1) Earth-based radio and radar: temperature, rotation, shape, and topography; (2) fly-by and orbiting spacecraft: gravity and magnetic fields; and (3) landers: winds, local structure, gamma radiation. Surface features, including large basins, crater-like depressions, and a linear valley, have been recognized from recent ground-based radar images. Pictures of the surface acquired by the USSR's Venera 9 and 10 show abundant boulders and apparent wind erosion. On the Pioneer Venus 1978 Orbiter mission, the radar mapper experiment will determine surface heights, dielectric constant values and small-scale slope values along the sub-orbital track between 50??S and 75??N. This experiment will also estimate the global shape and provide coarse radar images (40-80 km identification resolution) of part of the surface. Gravity data will be obtained by radio tracking. Maps combining radar altimetry with spacecraft and ground-based images will be made. A fluxgate magnetometer will measure the magnetic fields around Venus. The radar and gravity data will provide clues to the level of crustal differentiation and tectonic activity. The magnetometer will determine the field variations accurately. Data from the combined experiments may constrain the dynamo mechanism; if so, a deeper understanding of both Venus and Earth will be gained. ?? 1977 D. Reidel Publishing Company.

  8. 3. ALTOVITI VENUS STATUE IN THE TEMPLE OF VENUS AS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. ALTOVITI VENUS STATUE IN THE TEMPLE OF VENUS AS SEEN FROM LIVING ROOM DOORS, SOUTHEAST FACADE OF KYKUIT HOUSE, ON AXIS WITH LINDEN ALLEE - Kykuit, 200 Lake Road, Pocantico Hills, Westchester County, NY

  9. Pioneer Venus data analysis for the retarding potential analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knudsen, William C.

    1993-01-01

    This report describes the data analysis and archiving activities, analysis results, and instrument performance of the orbiter retarding potential analyzer (ORPA) flown on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft during the period, Aug. 1, 1988 to Sept. 30, 1993. During this period, the periapsis altitude of the Orbiter spacecraft descended slowly from 1900 km altitude, at which altitude the spacecraft was outside the Venus ionosphere, to approximately 130 km altitude in Oct. 1992 at which time communication with the spacecraft ceased as a result of entry of the spacecraft into the Venus atmosphere. The quantity of ORPA data returned during this reporting period was greatly reduced over that recovered in the previous years of the mission because of the reduced power capability of the spacecraft, loss of half of the onboard data storage, and partial failure of the ORPA. Despite the reduction in available data, especially ionospheric data, important scientific discoveries resulted from this extended period of the Pioneer Venus mission. The most significant discovery was that of a strong solar cycle change in the size of the dayside ionosphere and the resulting shutoff of flow of dayside ions into the nightside hemisphere. The large, topside O+ F2 ionospheric layer observed during the first three years of the Pioneer Venus mission, a period of solar cycle maximum activity, is absent during the solar cycle minimum activity period.

  10. Explosive propulsion applications. [to future unmanned missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Varsi, G.; Back, L. H.

    1974-01-01

    The feasibility and application of an explosive propulsion concept capable of supporting future unmanned missions in the post-1980 era were examined and recommendations made for advanced technology development tasks. The Venus large lander mission was selected as the first in which the explosive propulsion concept can find application. A conceptual design was generated and its performance, weight, costs, and interaction effects determined. Comparisons were made with conventional propulsion alternatives. The feasibility of the explosive propulsion system was verified for planetology experiments within the dense atmosphere of Venus as well as the outer planets. Additionally, it was determined that the Venus large lander mission could be augmented ballistically with a significant delivery margin.

  11. Stopped-Rotor Cyclocopter for Venus Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Husseyin, Sema; Warmbrodt, William G.

    2016-01-01

    The cyclocopter system can use two or more rotating blades to create lift, propulsion and control. This system is explored for its use in a mission to Venus. Cyclocopters are not limited to speed and altitude and can provide 360 degrees of vector thrusting which is favorable for good maneuverability. The novel aspect of this study is that no other cyclocopter configuration has been previously proposed for Venus or any (terrestrial or otherwise) exploration application where the cyclocopters rotating blades are stopped, and act as fixed wings. The design considerations for this unique planetary aerial vehicle are discussed in terms of implementing the use of a cyclorotor blade system combined with a fixed wing and stopped rotor mechanism. This proposed concept avoids many of the disadvantages of conventional-rotor stopped-rotor concepts and accounts for the high temperature, pressure and atmospheric density present on Venus while carrying out the mission objectives. The fundamental goal is to find an ideal design that implements the combined use of cyclorotors and fixed wing surfaces. These design concepts will be analyzed with the computational fluid dynamics tool RotCFD for aerodynamic assessment. Aspects of the vehicle design is 3D printed and tested in a small water tunnel or wind tunnel.

  12. Astrobiology and Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinspoon, D. H.; Bullock, M. A.

    2005-12-01

    Venus has not traditionally been considered a promising target for Astrobiological exploration. We propose that Venus should be central to such an exploration program for several reasons. 1) Putting Earth life in context: Venus is the only other Earth-sized terrestrial planet that we know of, and certainly the only one we will have the opportunity to explore in the foreseeable future. Many geological and meteorological processes otherwise active only on Earth at present are currently active on Venus. For example, active volcanism is most likely responsible for maintaining the global cloud cover (Bullock and Grinspoon, 2001). Understanding the divergence of Earth and Venus is central to understanding the limits of habitability in the inner regions of habitable zones around solar-type stars. Thus Venus presents us with a unique opportunity for putting the bulk properties, evolution and ongoing geochemical processes of Earth in a wider context. 2) The possibility of extant life: Venus almost surely once had warm oceans. The evaporation of these oceans, and subsequent escape of hydrogen, most likely resulted in an oxygenated atmosphere. The duration of this phase is poorly understood, but during this time the terrestrial planets were not isolated. Rather, due to frequent impact transport, they represented a continuous environment for early microbial life. Life, once established in the early oceans of Venus, may have migrated to the clouds which, on present day Venus, may represent a habitable niche. Though highly acidic, this aqueous environment enjoys moderate temperatures, surroundings far from chemical equilibrium, and potentially useful radiation fluxes. Observations of unusual chemistry in the clouds, and particle populations that are not well characterized, suggest that this environment must be explored much more fully before biology can be ruled out. A sulfur-based metabolism for cloud-based life on Venus has recently been proposed (Schulze-Makuch et al., 2004

  13. The evolution of Venus: Present state of knowledge and future exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chassefière, Eric; Wieler, Rainer; Marty, Bernard; Leblanc, François

    2012-04-01

    A detailed characterization of the formation and evolution of Venus is a key link to the study of terrestrial planets, and to their divergent evolutions. While Earth and to a lesser extent Mars (thanks to the analysis of SNC meteorites) are extensively studied in a comparative planetology context, the history of the most Earth-like planet of the Solar System, Venus, is still poorly understood. For how long has Venus been in its current extreme climate state? When and how did it diverge from a (possible) early Earth-like state? Has Venus been a potentially habitable planet at some time of its early history? Did a "cool early Venus" stage occur between the end of accretion and the late heavy bombardment, like suspected for Earth? What are the implications of the Venus/Earth comparison for the nature and evolution of habitable terrestrial planets throughout the universe? A major observational missing link in our understanding of Venus' climate evolution is the elementary and isotopic pattern of noble gases and of stable isotopes in Venus' atmosphere, still poorly known. The concentrations of heavy noble gases (Kr, Xe) and their isotopes are mostly unknown, and our knowledge of light noble gases and stable isotopes is incomplete and inaccurate. In this paper, we summarize our present understanding of Venus' early evolution, including the crucial question of knowing if water ever condensed at the surface of the planet. Then, we assess the potential contribution of a precise measurement of noble gases, their isotopes and stable isotopes to improve of our understanding of Venus evolution, and list the main questions that noble gases and isotope measurements would help to answer. Finally, we show how future exploration of Venus could allow to gain a glimpse into the early evolution of Venus through a small in-situ mission based on a single balloon probe, called EVE (European Venus Explorer), proposed in the frame of the ESA Cosmic Vision program.

  14. Aeolian processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1984-01-01

    Many of the questions regarding aeolian processes on Venus and the subsequent implications for surface history involve understanding the physics of particle motion in the venusian environment. The surface environment of Venus is simulated as closely as practicable using the Venus Wind Tunnel and to determine threshold wind speeds, particle flux, particle velocities, and the characteristics of various aeolian bedforms. Despite the relatively low wind speeds on Venus, the flux of windblown material on Venus is potentially high. A high fraction of material is transported as surface creep by rolling, estimates yield rates up to 100 kg per cm lane width per year depending upon the availability of material and wind frequency, suggesting that the formation of lowland plains by aeolian processes and the burial of various landforms such as impact craters could occur on short geological time-scales. Wind tunnel simulations demonstrate that aeolian processes may be very effective in modifying the surface through erosion and deposited and may have an important influence on the composition of the atmosphere.

  15. Venus cloud properties inferred from limb darkening curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longobardo, A.; Palomba, E.; Piccioni, G.; Zinzi, A.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Drossart, P.

    2011-10-01

    The limb darkening (LD) curve is the plot of radiance I as function of cosine of the emission angle (i.e. angle between the line of sight and the normal to the target). Its shape is related to atmospheric and cloud properties, such as opacity and scale height. These can be deduced also considering the plot of brightness temperature T as function of cos at some wavelengths [1,2]. In this work, Venus clouds have been studied by means of a LD study on infrared images of the Venus nightside, provided by the VIRTIS-Venus Express instrument [3].

  16. The solar wind interaction with Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthmann, J. G.

    1992-01-01

    The Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) mission has played a key role in establishing the nature of the solar wind interaction with Venus. Although earlier probes had determined that Venus presented an obstacle much smaller than the size of earth's magnetosphere to the solar wind, they did not carry out in situ measurements pertaining to solar wind interaction studies at low enough altitudes to determine why. They also did not provide datasets of sufficient duration to study the variability of the interaction of both short (one day) and long (solar cycle) timescales. The first 600 of the nearly 5000 orbits of PVO magnetometer data have been used to determine a very low upper limit on the intrinsic dipolar magnetic moment of Venus. The consequence of that low magnetic moment is that the solar wind interacts directly with the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Relative to a dipolar field obstacle, the ionospheric obstacle is rather incompressible. A bow shock is observed to stand in front of the nearly Venus-sized ionospheric obstacle at a comparatively steady subsolar altitude of approximately 1.5 R(v) (Venus radii). This shock decelerates the supersonic solar wind plasma so that it can flow around the obstacle. It was found to change its average position in the terminator plane from about 2.4 R(v) to 2.1 R(v) as the solar cycle progressed from the 1978 orbit insertion near solar maximum through the 1986-87 solar minimum, and back again during the latest solar activity increase. Between the bow shock and the ionosphere proper, the slowed solar wind plasma flow diverges near the subsolar point and makes its way across the terminator where it reaccelerates and continues anti-Sunward. The solar wind magnetic field, which is in effect frozen into the flowing plasma, is distorted in this 'magnetosheath' region so that it appears to hang up or drape over the dayside ionosphere before it slips around with the flow. These features of the solar wind interaction are also seen when the

  17. DAVINCI: Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaze, Lori S.; Garvin, James B.; Robertson, Brent; Johnson, Natasha M.; Amato, Michael J.; Thompson, Jessica; Goodloe, Colby; Everette, Dave

    2017-01-01

    DAVINCI is one of five Discovery-class missions selected by NASA in October 2015 for Phase A studies. Launching in November 2021 and arriving at Venus in June of 2023, DAVINCI would be the first U.S. entry probe to target Venus atmosphere in 45 years. DAVINCI is designed to study the chemical and isotopic composition of a complete cross-section of Venus atmosphere at a level of detail that has not been possible on earlier missions and to image the surface at optical wavelengths and process-relevant scales.

  18. Quantifying shapes of volcanoes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.

    1994-01-01

    A large population of discrete volcanic edifices on Venus has been identified and cataloged by means of Magellan SAR images, and an extensive database describing thousands of such features is in final preparation. Those volcanoes categorized as Intermediate to Large in scale, while relatively small in number (approx. 400), nonetheless constitute a significant volumetric component (approx. 13 x 10(exp 6) cu km) of the total apparent crustal volume of Venus. For this reason, we have focused attention on the morphometry of a representative suite of the larger edifices on Venus and, in particular, on ways of constraining the eruptive histories of these possibly geologically youthful landforms. Our approach has been to determine a series of reproducible morphometric parameters for as many of the discrete volcanoes on Venus that have an obvious expression within the global altimetry data acquired by Magellan. In addition, we have attempted to objectively and systematically define the mathematical essence of the shapes of these larger volcanoes using a polynomial cross-section approximation involving only parameters easily measured from digital topography, as well as with simple surface cylindrical harmonic expansions. The goal is to reduce the topological complexities of the larger edifices to a few simple parameters which can then be related to similar expressions for well-studied terrestrial and martian features.

  19. Venus Mobile Explorer with RPS for Active Cooling: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leifer, Stephanie D.; Green, Jacklyn R.; Balint, Tibor S.; Manvi, Ram

    2009-01-01

    We present our findings from a study to evaluate the feasibility of a radioisotope power system (RPS) combined with active cooling to enable a long-duration Venus surface mission. On-board power with active cooling technology featured prominently in both the National Research Council's Decadal Survey and in the 2006 NASA Solar System Exploration Roadmap as mission-enabling for the exploration of Venus. Power and cooling system options were reviewed and the most promising concepts modeled to develop an assessment tool for Venus mission planners considering a variety of future potential missions to Venus, including a Venus Mobile Explorer (either a balloon or rover concept), a long-lived Venus static lander, or a Venus Geophysical Network. The concepts modeled were based on the integration of General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules with different types of Stirling cycle heat engines for power and cooling. Unlike prior investigations which reported on single point design concepts, this assessment tool allows the user to generate either a point design or parametric curves of approximate power and cooling system mass, power level, and number of GPHS modules needed for a "black box" payload housed in a spherical pressure vessel.

  20. Astrobiology and Venus exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinspoon, David H.; Bullock, Mark A.

    For hundreds of years prior to the space age, Venus was considered among the most likely homes for extraterrestrial life. Since planetary exploration began, Venus has not been considered a promising target for Astrobiological exploration. However, Venus should be central to such an exploration program for several reasons. At present Venus is the only other Earth-sized terrestrial planet that we know of, and certainly the only one we will have the opportunity to explore in the foreseeable future. Understanding the divergence of Earth and Venus is central to understanding the limits of habitability in the inner regions of habitable zones around solar-type stars. Thus Venus presents us with a unique opportunity for putting the bulk properties, evolution and ongoing geochemical processes of Earth in a wider context. Many geological and meteorological processes otherwise active only on Earth at present are currently active on Venus. Active volcanism most likely affects the climate and chemical equilibrium state of the atmosphere and surface, and maintains the global cloud cover. Further, if we think beyond the specifics of a particular chemical system required to build complexity and heredity, we can ask what general properties a planet must possess in order to be considered a possible candidate for life. The answers might include an atmosphere with signs of flagrant chemical disequilibrium and active, internally driven cycling of volatile elements between the surface, atmosphere and interior. At present, the two planets we know of which possess these characteristics are Earth and Venus. Venus almost surely once had warm, habitable oceans. The evaporation of these oceans, and subsequent escape of hydrogen, most likely resulted in an oxygenated atmosphere. The duration of this phase is poorly understood, but during this time the terrestrial planets were not isolated. Rather, due to frequent impact transport, they represented a continuous environment for early microbial

  1. Wireless Seismometer for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponchak, George E.; Scardelletti, Maximilian C.; Taylor, Brandt; Beard, Steve; Clougherty, Brian; Meredith, Roger D.; Beheim, Glenn M.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Hunter, Gary W.

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the seismic activity of Venus is critical to understanding its composition and interior dynamics. Because Venus has an average surface temperature of 462 C and the challenge of providing cooling to multiple seismometers, a high temperature, wireless sensor using a wide bandgap semiconductor is an attractive option. This paper presents progress towards a seismometer sensor with wireless capabilities for Venus applications. A variation in inductance of a coil caused by a 1 cm movement of a ferrite probe held in the coil and attached to a balanced leaf-spring seismometer causes a variation of 80 MHz in the transmitted signal from the oscillator sensor system at 420 C, which correlates to a 10 kHz mm sensitivity when the ferrite probe is located at the optimum location in the coil.

  2. Energy Estimates of Lightning-Generated Whistler-Mode Waves in the Venus Ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Richard; Russell, Christopher T.; Zhang, Tielong

    2016-10-01

    The dual fluxgate magnetometer on the Venus Express Mission sampled at 128 Hz allowing for signals up to 64 Hz to be detected. These signals are found at all local times and at altitudes up to 600 km while near periapsis. The spacecraft had a periapsis within 15 degrees of the north pole for nearly the entire mission, concentrating observations at high latitudes. At solar minimum, when the ionosphere can become strongly magnetized, the waves were more readily guided along the field up to the spacecraft. During this time, whistlers were observed 3% of the time while VEX was at 250 km altitude. Detection rates reached 5% at this altitude while near the dawn terminator due to a low altitude magnetic belt that provides a radial component enabling better access of the signals to the spacecraft.Since the majority of these observations were made at relatively low altitudes, reasonable assumptions can be made about the ionospheric conditions along the wave's path from the base of the ionosphere to the spacecraft. The electron density can be inferred by utilizing the VERA model and scaling it to match the solar cycle conditions during the Venus Express campaign. With the electron density and the three components of the magnetic field measurement, we then calculate the Poynting flux to determine the energy density of the wave. This enables us to determine the strength of the source lightning and compares this strength to that on Earth.

  3. Exploring Venus by Solar Airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    A solar-powered airplane is proposed to explore the atmospheric environment of Venus. Venus has several advantages for a solar airplane. At the top of the cloud level, the solar intensity is comparable to or greater than terrestrial solar intensities. The Earthlike atmospheric pressure means that the power required for flight is lower for Venus than that of Mars, and the slow rotation of Venus allows an airplane to be designed for continuous sunlight, with no energy storage needed for night-time flight. These factors mean that Venus is perhaps the easiest planet in the solar system for flight of a long-duration solar airplane.

  4. Was Venus the first habitable world of our solar system?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M. J.; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Kiang, Nancy Y.; Sohl, Linda E.; Grinspoon, David H.; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell; Clune, Thomas

    2016-08-01

    Present-day Venus is an inhospitable place with surface temperatures approaching 750 K and an atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth's. Billions of years ago the picture may have been very different. We have created a suite of 3-D climate simulations using topographic data from the Magellan mission, solar spectral irradiance estimates for 2.9 and 0.715 Gya, present-day Venus orbital parameters, an ocean volume consistent with current theory, and an atmospheric composition estimated for early Venus. Using these parameters we find that such a world could have had moderate temperatures if Venus had a prograde rotation period slower than ~16 Earth days, despite an incident solar flux 46-70% higher than Earth receives. At its current rotation period, Venus's climate could have remained habitable until at least 0.715 Gya. These results demonstrate the role rotation and topography play in understanding the climatic history of Venus-like exoplanets discovered in the present epoch.

  5. Geologic map of the Mead quadrangle (V-21), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Clark, David A.

    2006-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included (1) improving the knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Mead quadrangle (V-21) of Venus is bounded by lat 0 deg and 25 deg N., long 30 deg and 60 deg E. This quadrangle is one of 62 covering Venus at 1:5,000,000 scale. Named for the largest crater on Venus, the quadrangle is dominated by effusive volcanic deposits associated with five major coronae in eastern Eistla Regio (Didilia, Pavlova, Calakomana, Isong, and Ninmah), corona-like tectonic features, and Disani Corona. The southern extremity of Bell Regio, marked by lava flows from Nyx Mons, north of the map area, forms the north-central part of the quadrangle. The shield volcanoes Kali, Dzalarhons, and Ptesanwi Montes lie south and southwest of the large corona-related flow field. Lava flows from sources east of Mead crater flood low-lying areas along the east edge of the quadrangle.

  6. On the Frequency of Potential Venus Analogs from Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.

    2014-10-01

    The field of exoplanetary science has seen a dramatic improvement in sensitivity to terrestrial planets over recent years. Such discoveries have been a key feature of results from the Kepler mission which utilizes the transit method to determine the size of the planet. These discoveries have resulted in a corresponding interest in the topic of the Habitable Zone and the search for potential Earth analogs. Within the solar system, there is a clear dichotomy between Venus and Earth in terms of atmospheric evolution, likely the result of the large difference (approximately a factor of two) in incident flux from the Sun. Since Venus is 95% of the Earth's radius in size, it is impossible to distinguish between these two planets based only on size. In this Letter we discuss planetary insolation in the context of atmospheric erosion and runaway greenhouse limits for planets similar to Venus. We define a "Venus Zone" in which the planet is more likely to be a Venus analog rather than an Earth analog. We identify 43 potential Venus analogs with an occurrence rate (η♀) of 0.32^{+0.05}_{-0.07} and 0.45^{+0.06}_{-0.09} for M dwarfs and GK dwarfs, respectively.

  7. ON THE FREQUENCY OF POTENTIAL VENUS ANALOGS FROM KEPLER DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.

    2014-10-10

    The field of exoplanetary science has seen a dramatic improvement in sensitivity to terrestrial planets over recent years. Such discoveries have been a key feature of results from the Kepler mission which utilizes the transit method to determine the size of the planet. These discoveries have resulted in a corresponding interest in the topic of the Habitable Zone and the search for potential Earth analogs. Within the solar system, there is a clear dichotomy between Venus and Earth in terms of atmospheric evolution, likely the result of the large difference (approximately a factor of two) in incident flux from the Sun. Since Venus is 95% of the Earth's radius in size, it is impossible to distinguish between these two planets based only on size. In this Letter we discuss planetary insolation in the context of atmospheric erosion and runaway greenhouse limits for planets similar to Venus. We define a ''Venus Zone'' in which the planet is more likely to be a Venus analog rather than an Earth analog. We identify 43 potential Venus analogs with an occurrence rate (η{sub ♀}) of 0.32{sub −0.07}{sup +0.05} and 0.45{sub −0.09}{sup +0.06} for M dwarfs and GK dwarfs, respectively.

  8. Ice caps on venus?

    PubMed

    Libby, W F

    1968-03-08

    The data on Venus obtained by Mariner V and Venera 4 are interpreted as evidence of giant polar ice caps holding the water that must have come out of the volcanoes with the observed carbon dioxide, on the assumption that Earth and Venus are of similar composition and volcanic history. The measurements by Venera 4 of the equatorial surface temperature indicate that the microwave readings were high, so that the polar ice caps may be allowed to exist in the face of the 10-centimeter readings of polar temperature. Life seems to be distinctly possible at the edges of the ice sheets.

  9. O+ ion flow below the magnetic barrier at Venus post terminator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szego, K.; Bebesi, Z.; Dobe, Z.; Fränz, M.; Fedorov, A.; Barabash, S.; Coates, A. J.; Zhang, T. L.

    2009-01-01

    Venus forms an obstacle in the streaming solar wind; inside the obstacle boundary (that is below the magnetic barrier) the ions of planetary origin dominate the plasma. The objective of this study is to investigate the properties of the O+ ions inside the obstacle boundary of Venus in the wake; we are especially interested in the characterization of the different plasma regions the O+ ions occupy. The study is based on the data collected by the ASPERA 4 plasma analyzer flying onboard of the Venus Express mission in a region never explored before experimentally. The obstacle boundary was approximately identified from the dropout of magnetospheric electrons and the sharp decrease of the proton speed; the entry point correlated well with the location of the magnetic barrier derived by eyes from magnetometer data. The most characteristic structures seen during the various flybys were (1) the tailward continuation of the mantle was evident; (2) in the mantle near Venus the O+ ion flow was significantly intense in low-energy counts; (3) the inbound and outbound crossings of the tailward boundary were sharp, characterized by less intense but higher-energy O+ beams; (4) the crossing of the central tail region (current sheet) was marked by the change of the sign of Bx and by an intense low-energy O+ ion flux; (5) it is remarkable that the O+ ion outflow was not confined to the central tail region; the intensity elsewhere was highly variable, resulting in a ray-like outflow pattern in most of the cases.

  10. Visions for the Exploration of Venus in the Coming Decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Glaze, L. S.; Johnson, N. M.; Parsons, A. M.; Mahaffy, P.; Conrad, P.; Trainer, M.

    2017-02-01

    A vision for Venus exploration extended to circa 2050 that builds on the present state of knowledge and the next one or two missions is developed on the basis of long-standing questions and hypotheses about the planet, including the loss of an ocean.

  11. Venus - False Color Perspective of Sif and Gula Mons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    A portion of western Eistla Regio is shown in this three dimensional, computer-generated view of the surface of Venus. The viewpoint is at an elevation of 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mile) at a location 700 kilometers (435 miles) southeast of Gula Mons, the volcano on the right horizon. Gula Mons reaches 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) high and is located around 22 degrees north latitude and 359 degrees east longitude. Sif Mons, the volcano on the left horizon, has a diameter of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles). Magellan imaging and altimetry data are combined to develop a three-dimensional computer view of the planet's surface. Simulated color based on color images from the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 spacecraft is added to enhance small-scale structure. This image was produced at JPL's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory by Eric De Jong, Jeff Hall and Myche McAuley. Magellan is a NASA spacecraft mission to map the surface of Venus with imaging radar. The basic scientific instrument is a synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, which can look through the thick clouds perpetually shielding the surface of Venus. Magellan is in orbit around Venus which completes one turn around its axis in 243 Earth days. That period of time, one Venus day, is the length of a Magellan mapping cycle. The spacecraft completed its first mapping cycle and primary mission on May 15, 1991, and immediately began its second cycle. During the first cycle, Magellan mapped more than 80 percent of the planet's surface and the current and subsequent cycles of equal duration will provide complete mapping of Venus. Magellan was launched May 4, 1989, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and went into orbit around Venus August 10, 1990.

  12. Venus Interior Probe Using In-Situ Power and Propulsion (VIP-INSPR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugga, Ratnakumar V.

    2016-01-01

    Venus, despite being our closest neighboring planet, is under-explored due to its hostile and extreme environment, with a 92 bar pressure and 467 C temperature at the surface. The temperature decreases at higher altitudes, almost at the rate of 7.9 C/km, reaching the Earth surface conditions at 65 km. Due to the less extreme conditions, balloon missions could survive as long as 46 h at an altitude of 54 km. However, because of the opacity of the Venus atmosphere filled with clouds of sulfuric acid and CO2, orbiter or balloon missions are not as revealing and informative in characterizing the surface, as similar missions on Moon and Mars. To understand the evolutionary paths of Venus in relation to Earth, it is imperative to gather basic information on the crust, mantle, core, atmosphere/exosphere and bulk composition of Venus, through in-situ investigations using landers, probes and variable altitude areal platforms.

  13. Status of development of lightning detector for PLANET-C mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Y.; Hoshino, N.; Sato, M.; Teraguchi, T.

    2008-12-01

    Magnetometer onboard Venus Express detected whistler mode waves whose source can be considered to be lightning discharge occurring well below the spacecraft orbit. However, there still remain some uncertainties to conclude finally such waves are originated by lightning discharge in the atmosphere. In order to identify the discharge phenomena in the atmosphere of Venus without any doubt, we plan to observe the lightning activity with high-speed optical detector onboard Planet-C, the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter mission which will be launched in 2010 by JAXA. We are developing a new type of lightning detector, LAC (Lightning and Airglow Camera). Main difference from other equipments which have provided evidences of lightning existence in Venus is the high-speed sampling rate at 50kHz for each pixel, enabling us to distinguish the optical lightning flash from other pulsing noises. On the other hand, spatial resolution is not first priority as the first detector of Venus lightning. New type of APD (avalanche photo diode) array with a format of 8 x 8 is used and a narrow band interference filter at wavelength of 777.4 nm (OI) is selected for lightning measurement. The development is now at the stage for designing and manufacturing the flight model, based on the performance and environmental tolerance of the proto model. Especially, the algorithm for self- triggering is carefully improved in order to exclude false-trigger by other pulse-like noise.

  14. Vénus version Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazé, Yaël

    2010-04-01

    En avril 2006, Vénus a "capturé" un objet d'un genre particulier: une sonde robotique européenne, baptisée Venus Express et destinée à scruter cette planète sous tous les angles. Bilan de cette mission 5 ans après le lancement de la sonde, dont 4 d'observations vénusiennes.

  15. Venus in 3D

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plaut, Jeffrey J.

    1993-01-01

    Stereographic images of the surface of Venus which enable geologists to reconstruct the details of the planet's evolution are discussed. The 120-meter resolution of these 3D images make it possible to construct digital topographic maps from which precise measurements can be made of the heights, depths, slopes, and volumes of geologic structures.

  16. Venus - Lessons for earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunten, D. M.

    1992-01-01

    The old idea that Venus might possess surface conditions to those of an overcast earth has been thoroughly refuted by space-age measurements. Instead, the two planets may have started out similar, but diverged because of the greater solar flux at Venus. This cannot be proved, but is consistent with everything known. A runaway greenhouse effect could have evaporated an 'ocean'. The hydrogen would escape, and most of the oxygen would be incorporated into the crust. Without liquid water, CO2 would remain in the atmosphere. Chlorine atoms would catalyze the recombination of any free oxygen back to CO2. The same theories apply to the future of the earth, and to the explanation of the polar ozone holes; the analogies are striking. There is no likelihood that the earth will actually come to resemble Venus, but Venus serves both as a warning that major environmental effects can flow from seemingly small causes, and as a testbed for the predictive models of the earth.

  17. Does the face of Venus reveal whether she is Earth's fraternal twin or identical twin separated at birth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrekar, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Venus has nearly the same diameter and bulk composition as Earth, yet lacks a dynamo and evidence for plate tectonics. Its dense CO2 greenhouse creates a surface T of 460°C. Orbital and landed spectroscopy indicate a basaltic crust, with possible analogs to terrestrial continents. Radar images and altimetry reveal a volcanic surface, with regions of intense tectonic deformation, including rifts, mountain belts and large, intensely deformed plateaus. The sparse impact craters give a resurfacing age of 0.3-1 b.y. Their distribution cannot be distinguished from a random one, and fit models with either a single, rapid resurfacing pulse or ongoing resurfacing. Incorporating geologic constraints favors ongoing resurfacing. Ar isotope data indicate less interior outgassing than Earth, assuming a similar volatile inventory. Gravity and topography data, along with geologic features, provide evidence for ~10 large mantle plumes, similar to the number on Earth. The gravity/topography data at these hotspots suggests no low viscosity zone, perhaps implying a dry interior. Positive thermal emissivity from the Venus Express mission correlate with volcanic flows at several hotspots and can be interpreted as unweathered basalt, implying geologically recent activity. In addition, there are ~500 coronae, which are unique to Venus and likely form via small-scale upwelling, downwelling, or a combination. Many of the larger coronae may be sites of plume-induced subduction (see Davaille abstract), although subduction does not appear to create plates. I will discuss possible reasons Venus and Earth may have evolved differently and supporting evidence from surface observations. Did early impact or magma ocean history modify interior volatile or radiogenic content? Does high surface T and its effect on rheology and mineralogy inhibit plate tectonics? What is the evidence for a wet or dry interior? What could new missions tell us about these questions?

  18. Possible Signs of Fauna and Flora on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.; Selivanov, Arnold S.; Gektin, Yuryi M.

    2015-08-01

    Habitability of planets is a fundamental question of science. Some of exoplanets possess physical conditions close to those of Venus. The planet Venus, despite its dense and hot (735 K) oxygen-free atmosphere of CO2, having a high pressure of 9.2 MPa at the surface, can be a natural laboratory for this kind of studies. The only existing data on the planet’s surface are still the results obtained by the Soviet VENERA landers.The TV experiments of Venera-9 and 10 (October, 1975) and Venera-13 and 14 (March, 1982) delivered 41 panoramas of Venus surface (or their fragments). The experiments were of extreme technical complexity. There have not been any similar missions to Venus in the subsequent 40 and 33 years. In the absence of new landing missions to Venus, the VENERA panoramas have been re-processed by modern means. The results of these missions are studied anew. A dozen of relatively large objects, from a decimeter to half a meter in size, with an unusual morphology have been found which moved very slowly or changed slightly their shape. Certain unusual findings that have a structure similar to the Earth’ fauna and flora were found in different areas of the planet. There are more then 30 papers on the topic published in 2012-2014 (e.g., “Acta Astronautica”, 2014, V. 105, pp. 521-533). Due to the availability of up to eight duplicates of the images obtained and their low level of masking noise, the VENERA archive panoramas permit identifying and exploring some types of hypothetical life forms of Venus. Analysis of treated once again VENERA panoramic images revealed objects that might indicate the presence of about 12 hypothetical forms of Venusian flora and fauna. Among them is ‘amisada’ that stands out with its unusual lizard shape against the stone plates surrounding it.

  19. The surface of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, Alexander T.; Head, James W.

    2003-10-01

    Venus is a planet that is similar to Earth in terms of some important planetary parameters (size, mass, position in the solar system, presence of atmosphere) and different in terms of other, equally important ones (absence of an intrinsic magnetic field, large atmospheric mass, carbon dioxide composition of the atmosphere, lack of water, very high surface pressure and temperature). The surface morphology of Venus is dominated by the signatures of basaltic volcanism and tectonic deformation. Other geological processes such as impact cratering, aeolian activity and gravity-driven down-slope mass movement, although active on the planet, are certainly of subordinate significance. Venusian volcanism resulted in the formation of vast regional plains, occupying most of the planet's surface, and in the building of numerous volcanic edifices. Venusian tectonic deformation was both compressional and extensional. Scales and, periodically, rates of Venusian volcanism and tectonism were comparable to those on Earth. But Venus shows no evidence of the global plate-tectonic style so dominant in the geology of Earth. The morphological record seen in the Magellan radar images of Venus extends back into geological history not earlier than about 0.5-1 billion years. It is represented by a sequence of units from highly tectonized tessera and densely fractured plains, whose compositional nature is unclear, through moderately deformed basaltic lava plains, and then to only locally deformed basaltic plains and edifices. In the beginning of the time period during which this sequence formed, the rates of volcanic and tectonic activity were significantly higher than in the subsequent time extending to the present. This change in volcanic and tectonic activity may correspond to a change in the convection style in the mantle of Venus.

  20. Doublet craters on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Cheryl M.; Melosh, H. Jay; Bottke, William F.

    2003-09-01

    Of the impact craters on Earth larger than 20 km in diameter, 10-15% (3 out of 28) are doublets, having been formed by the simultaneous impact of two well-separated projectiles. The most likely scenario for their formation is the impact of well-separated binary asteroids. If a population of binary asteroids is capable of striking the Earth, it should also be able to hit the other terrestrial planets as well. Venus is a promising planet to search for doublet craters because its surface is young, erosion is nearly nonexistent, and its crater population is significantly larger than the Earth's. After a detailed investigation of single craters separated by less than 150 km and "multiple" craters having diameters greater than 10 km, we found that the proportion of doublet craters on Venus is at most 2.2%, significantly smaller than Earth's, although several nearly incontrovertible doublets were recognized. We believe this apparent deficit relative to the Earth's doublet population is a consequence of atmospheric screening of small projectiles on Venus rather than a real difference in the population of impacting bodies. We also examined "splotches," circular radar reflectance features in the Magellan data. Projectiles that are too small to form craters probably formed these features. After a careful study of these patterns, we believe that the proportion of doublet splotches on Venus (14%) is comparable to the proportion of doublet craters found on Earth (10-15%). Thus, given the uncertainties of interpretation and the statistics of small numbers, it appears that the doublet crater population on Venus is consistent with that of the Earth.

  1. Sampling the Cloudtop Region on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Ashish, Kumar; Alam, Mofeez; Landis, Geoffrey; Widemann, Thomas; Kremic, Tibor

    2014-05-01

    The details of the cloud structure on Venus continue to be elusive. One of the main questions is the nature and identity of the ultraviolet absorber(s). Remote sensing observations from Venus Express have provided much more information about the ubiquitous cloud cover on Venus from both reflected and emitted radiation from Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) and Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) observations. Previously, only the Pioneer Venus Large Probe has measured the size distribution of the cloud particles, and other probes have measured the bulk optical properties of the cloud cover. However, the direct sampling of the clouds has been possible only below about 62 km, whereas the recent Venus Express observations indicate that the cloud tops extend from about 75 km in equatorial region to about 67 km in polar regions. To sample the cloud top region of Venus, other platforms are required. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been proposed previously (Landis et al., 2002). Another that is being looked into, is a semi-buoyant aerial vehicle that can be powered using solar cells and equipped with instruments to not only sample the cloud particles, but also to make key atmospheric measurements - e.g. atmospheric composition including isotopic abundances of noble and other gases, winds and turbulence, deposition of solar and infrared radiation, electrical activity. The conceptual design of such a vehicle can carry a much more massive payload than any other platform, and can be controlled to sample different altitudes and day and night hemispheres. Thus, detailed observations of the surface using a miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar are possible. Data relay to Earth will need an orbiter, preferably in a low inclination orbit, depending on the latitude region selected for emphasis. Since the vehicle has a large surface area, thermal loads on entry are low, enabling deployment without the use of an aeroshell. Flight characteristics of such a vehicle have been

  2. Second Venus spacecraft set for launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The launch phase of the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe spacecraft and cruise phases of both the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and the Multiprobe spacecraft are covered. Material pertinent to the Venus encounter is included.

  3. On the possibility of microbiota transfer from Venus to Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.

    2008-09-01

    The possibility of the clouds of Venus providing habitats for extremophilic microorganisms has been discussed for several decades. We show here that the action of the solar wind leads to erosion of parts of the atmosphere laden with aerosols and putative microorganisms, forming a comet-like tail in the antisolar direction. During inferior conjunctions that coincide with transits of the planet Venus this comet-like tail intersects the Earth’s magnetopause and injects aerosol particles. Data from ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft and from SOHO are used to discuss the ingress of bacteria from Venus into the Earth’s atmosphere, which we estimate as ˜1011 1013 cells for each transit event.

  4. Signs of hypothetical fauna of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.

    2014-04-01

    On March 1 and 5, 1982, experiments in television photography instrumented by the landers VENERA-13 and -14, yielded 37 panoramas (or their fragments) of the Venus surface at the landing site. Over the past 31 years, no similar missions have been sent to Venus. Using a modern technique the VENERA panoramas were re-examined. A new analysis of Venusian surface panoramas' details has been made. A few relatively large objects of hypothetical fauna of Venus were found with size ranging from a decimeter to half meter and with unusual morphology. Treated once again VENERA-14 panoramic images revealed `amisada' object about 15 cm in size possessing apparent terramorphic features. The amisada's body stands out with its lizard-like shape against the stone plates close by. The amisada can be included into the list of the most significant findings of the hypothetical Venusian fauna. The amisada's body show slow movements, which is another evidence of the Venusian fauna's very slow style of activity, which appears to be associated with its energy constraints or, and that is more likely, with the properties of its internal medium. The terramorphic features of the Venusian fauna, if they are confirmed, may point out at outstandingly important and yet undiscovered general laws of the animated nature on different planets.

  5. Venus transit 2004: An international education program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, L.; Odenwald, S.

    2003-04-01

    December 6th, 1882 was the last transit of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun. It was heralded as an event of immense interest and importance to the astronomical community as well as the public at large. There have been only six such occurrences since Galileo first trained his telescope on the heavens in 1609 and on Venus in 1610 where he concluded that Venus had phases like the moon and appeared to get larger and smaller over time. Many historians consider this the final nail in the coffin of the Ptolemaic, Earth centered solar system. In addition, each transit has provided unique opportunities for discovery such as measurement and refinement of the detection of Venus' atmosphere, calculation of longitudes, and calculation of the astronomical unit (and therefore the scale of the solar system). The NASA Sun Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF) in partnership with the Solar System Exploration (SSE) and Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU) Forums, AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), and a number of NASA space missions and science centers are developing plans for an international education program centered around the June 8, 2004 Venus transit. The transit will be visible in its entirety from Europe and partially from the East Coast of the United States. We will use a series of robotic observatories including the Telescopes In Education (TIE) network distributed in latitude to provide observations of the transit that will allow middle and high school students to calculate the A.U. through application of parallax. We will compare the terrestrial planets in terms of the evolutionary processes that define their magnetic fields, their widely differing interactions with the solar wind, and the implications this has for life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. We will also use Venus transit as a probe of episodes in American history (e.g. 1769: revolutionary era, 1882: post civil war era, and 2004: modern era). Museums and planetariums in

  6. Venus - Simulated Color of Leda Planitia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This false color Magellan image shows a portion of Leda Planitia (plains) in the northern hemisphere of Venus, centered at 41 degrees north latitude, 52 degrees east longitude. The area is 220 kilometers (135 miles) wide and 275 kilometers (170 miles) long. This image was produced from Magellan radar data collected in Cycle 2 of the mission. Cycle 2 was completed January 15, 1992. The area was not imaged during the first cycle because of superior conjunction when the sun was between the Earth and Venus, preventing communication with the spacecraft. This image contains examples of several of the major geologic terrains on Venus and illustrates the basic stratigraphy or sequence of geologic events. The oldest terrains appear as bright, highly-fractured or chaotic highlands rising out of the plains. This is seen in the upper left, or northwest, quadrant of the image. The chaotic highlands, sometimes called tessera, may represent older and thicker crustal material and occupy about 15 percent of the surface of Venus. The circular ring structure in the lower left of the image is probably an impact crater. This 40 kilometer (25 miles) diameter crater has been given a proposed name, Heloise, after the French physician who lived from about 1098 to 1164 A.D. The crater was formed by the impact of an asteroid sometime before the plains lavas embayed and covered the region. The plains surround and embay the fractured highland tessera. Plains are formed by fluid volcanic flows that may have once formed vast lava seas which covered all the low lying surfaces. Plains comprise more than 80 percent of the surface of Venus. The most recent activity in the region is volcanism that produced the radar bright flows best seen in the upper right quadrant of the image. Those flows are similar to the darker plains volcanics, but apparently have more rugged surfaces that more efficiently scatter the radar signal back to the spacecraft. Thus the geologic sequence is early fracturing of the

  7. Probabilistic constraints from existing and future radar imaging on volcanic activity on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2015-11-01

    We explore the quantitative limits that may be placed on Venus' present-day volcanic activity by radar imaging of surface landforms. The apparent nondetection of new lava flows in the areas observed twice by Magellan suggests that there is a ~60% chance that the eruption rate is ~1 km3/yr or less, using the eruption history and area/volume flow geometry of terrestrial volcanoes (Etna, Mauna Loa and Merapi) as a guide. However, if the detection probability of an individual flow is low (e.g. ~10%) due to poor resolution or quality and unmodeled viewing geometry effects, the constraint (<10 km3/yr) is not useful. Imaging at Magellan resolution or better of only ~10% of the surface area of Venus on a new mission (30 years after Magellan) would yield better than 99% chance of detecting a new lava flow, even if the volcanic activity is at the low end of predictions (~0.01 km3/yr) and is expressed through a single volcano with a stochastic eruption history. Closer re-examination of Magellan data may be worthwhile, both to search for new features, and to establish formal (location-dependent) limits on activity against which data from future missions can be tested. While Magellan-future and future-future comparisons should offer much lower detection thresholds for erupted volumes, a probabilistic approach will be required to properly understand the implications.

  8. Tectonic connections to interior processes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    The ultimate goal of geophysical/geological exploration of Venus is to relate the present tectonic (and volcanic) state of the lithosphere to interior processes, particularly mantle convection, operating both now and in the past. The Magellan mission has provided a spectacular view of the surface, and upcoming gravity measurements, particularly if the Magellan orbit is circularized, will provide significant constraints on the state of the interior. This extended abstract focuses on several controversial issues regarding venusian tectonics and its relationship to geodynamic mechanisms in the planet's interior. The origin of highlands, coronae diapir structures, and trenches and subduction are discussed.

  9. Study of aerosol properties in the upper haze of Venus from SPICAV IR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luginin, Mikhail; Fedorova, Anna; Belyaev, Denis; Montmessin, Franck; Wilquet, Valérie; Korablev, Oleg; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Vandaele, Ann-Carine

    2015-04-01

    Upper haze of Venus lies above cloud layer and extends from 70 to 90 km. According to previous missions results the upper haze consists of submicron particles that are considered to be droplets of concentrated sulfuric acid (75%) [Kawabata et al., 1980; Lane and Opstbaum, 1983; Sato et al., 1996]. Recently, from the observations of Venus Express spacecraft a bimodal particle distribution was discovered as well as presence of detached haze layers at 80-90 km. This may be due to abundance of different kinds of particles [Montmessin et al., 2008; Wilquet et al., 2009]. Moreover, study of aerosol particles at altitudes above 90 km could be the key to solution of the sulfur oxides problem recently discovered in this altitude range [Belyaev et al., 2012]. SPICAV IR spectrometer is a part of SPICAV/SOIR experiment on board the Venus Express orbiter [Korablev et al., 2012]. It measures a vertical structure of Venus atmosphere using solar occultation method at altitudes 70-100 km in spectral range of 0.65 1.7 µm. The spectrometer is sensitive to abundance of submicron (mode 1) and micron (mode 2) particles in the Venus' upper haze. Using sulfuric acid refractive indices, Mie scattering theory, and spectral dependence of aerosol extinction, one can derive vertical distribution of particles size and number density assuming bimodal as well as unimodal cases. In this paper we present vertical profiles of extinction, number density and size distribution from more than 200 occultations obtained between May 2006 and September 2014. Aerosol scale height is found to be equal to ~4 km in the upper haze. At the equator, upper haze top lies at higher altitudes than near the North Pole. A detached haze layers were observed in ~50% of all observations in latitude range from 60°N to 90°N where the best spatial resolution is achieved. According to our statistics bimodal distribution is typical for altitudes from 75 to 85 km, while unimodal distribution dominates at altitudes 70-75 km

  10. Tectonics and composition of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, D. L.

    1980-01-01

    The uncompressed density of Venus is a few percent less than the Earth. The high upper mantle temperature of Venus deepens the eclogite stability field and inserts a partial melt field. A thick basaltic crust is therefore likely. The anomalous density of Venus relative to the progression from Mercury to Mars may therefore have a tectonic rather than a cosmo-chemical explanation. There may be no need to invoke differences in composition or oxidization state.

  11. The new face of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofan, Ellen R.

    1993-01-01

    The Magellan data on the Venus landscape which revealed volcanoes, shining mountains, relaxing plateaus, and craters on the surface of about 500 C, with an atmospheric pressure 90 times that of earth, are discussed. Venus is considered to be a planet that is both incredibly similar and dissimilar to earth. Venus might not exhibit plate tectonism but it might be dominated by catastrophes. The greenhouse around Venus has operated for at least the last 500 million years. The Magellan data revealed channels extending for thousands of kilometers, beautiful outflows surrounding impact craters, and odd volcanic constructs like the steep-sided domes.

  12. Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 solar radiation force and torques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Georgevic, R. M.

    1974-01-01

    The need for an improvement of the mathematical model of the solar radiation force and torques for the Mariner Venus/Mercury spacecraft arises from the fact that this spacecraft will be steering toward the inner planets (Venus and Mercury), where, due to the proximity of the Sun, the effect of the solar radiation pressure is much larger than it was on the antecedent Mariner spacecraft, steering in the opposite direction. Therefore, although the model yielded excellent results in the case of the Mariner 9 Mars Orbiter, additional effects of negligible magnitudes for the previous missions of the Mariner spacecraft should now be included in the model. This study examines all such effects and incorporates them into the already existing model, as well as using the improved model for calculation of the solar radiation force and torques acting on the Mariner Venus/Mercury spacecraft.

  13. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) Experiment onboard the European Mars Express (MEX) Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neukum, G.; HRSC Team

    2003-04-01

    A major goal of the European Mars Express mission is to image the Martian surface at high spatial resolution, in stereo and in color. This task will be met by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), a multiple-line pushbroom scanner. 9 CCD lines are mounted in parallel and simultaneously acquire images at high spatial resolution, in triple-stereo, in four colors and at five viewing angles. During the nominal mission, the HRSC will cover at least 50% of the Martian surface at 10-15 m/pixel, 70% at better than 30 m/pixel and 100% at better than 100 m/pixel resolution. The instrument is equipped with an additional super-resolution channel reaching a spatial resolution of up to 2 m/pixel. This channel is boresighted with the HRSC stereo scanner and will obtain nested-in images or image strips. Up to a few % of the Martian surface can be covered by the super-resolution channel during the mission. This channel will be of particular importance for highest-resolution coverage of landing sites such as planned for the Mars Express Beagle 2 site and the two Mars Surveyor 2003 rover sites. Scientifically, the HRSC experiment concentrates on the geological and climatological evolution of Mars with special emphasis on the role of water throughout the Martian history. An international team of 40 Co-Investigators from 28 scientific institutions and 10 countries will run the experiment and analyze the data over the two-year nominal mission with a possible extension over an additional two years. The data will be processed in such a way that they will be usable by the scientific community at large six months after receipt. The experiment hardware and software development is finished and the instrument is being assembled and tested at the ESA-MEX spacecraft. The launch of the mission is scheduled from Baikonur in late May 2003. First data from the cruise phase to Mars will be received in the June-July period of 2003.

  14. The Oldest Rocks on Venus: the Importance of Tessera Terrain for Venus Exploration (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Glaze, L. S.

    2013-12-01

    Venus tessera terrain is a major, yet unsampled, tectonic unit on Venus characterized by multiple sets of intersecting compressional and extensional structures. Tessera terrain is temporally, morphologically, and perhaps also compositionally unique on Venus. Stratigraphic studies of tessera terrain establish that they consistently appear locally, and perhaps even globally, as the oldest material on a planet with an average surface crater retention age of ~500 million years. Thus, the tesserae provide the best chance to access rocks that are derived from the first 80% of the history of the planet, an era obscured by the emplacement of voluminous (presumably basaltic) plains. Analysis of Magellan imagery, topography and gravity data show that tessera terrain is characterized by higher strain rates and a thinner lithosphere than at present and thus records an extinct geodynamical era on Venus. Yet very little is understood about the number, morphology and stratigraphy of geologic units within tessera terrain, nor mass wasting processes operating on the surface. Improved radar imagery at the 5-25 m scale, and optical images below the clouds (<1 km) and at the surface will help assess the geologic processes operating in the pre-plains era. Such data products are also essential for judicious landing site selection, since tessera meter-scale roughness will limit landing site safety and sample access. Improved topography data are required to quantify the deformation recorded by ubiquitous tesserae structures that are finer than Magellan resolution. Tessera terrain is unsampled, but recent analyses of radiance from the surface at 1 micron using instruments on Venus Express and Galileo are consistent with felsic compositions for tesserae. Silicic compositions likely require both water and a plate recycling mechanism (e.g., subduction) for formation. The high D/H ratio of the Venus atmosphere is consistent with the loss of a significant inventory of water over the history of

  15. Magellan unveils Venus

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, E.J.

    1991-07-01

    Images obtained after an eight month Venusian year, during which the radar mapper Magellan surveyed nearly all of Venus, are described. It is observed that, instead of rigid plates moving as on earth, Venus appears covered with plumes of hot upwellings that dome out over hundreds or thousands of kilometers, feeding a continuous volcanic resurfacing of the planet. Although the Venusian surface is changing relatively rapidly by vulcanism and tectonic processes, the Magellan images make it clear that erosion is very slow. It is seen that some of the lava flows are highly fluid, etching narrow channels for hundreds of kilometers through the crust. Magellan also revealed some peculiarly Venusian formations, the tesserated areas where ridges and faults crosshatch the region into large blocks.

  16. (abstract) Venus Gravity Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konopliv, A. S.; Sjogren, W. L.

    1995-01-01

    A global gravity field model of Venus to degree and order 75 (5772 spherical harmonic coefficients) has been estimated from Doppler radio tracking of the orbiting spacecraft Pioneer Venus Orbiter (1979-1992) and Magellan (1990-1994). After the successful aerobraking of Magellan, a near circular polar orbit was attained and relatively uniform gravity field resolution (approximately 200 km) was obtained with formal uncertainties of a few milligals. Detailed gravity for several highland features are displayed as gravity contours overlaying colored topography. The positive correlation of typography with gravity is very high being unlike that of the Earth, Moon, and Mars. The amplitudes are Earth-like, but have significantly different gravity-topography ratios for different features. Global gravity, geoid, and isostatic anomaly maps as well as the admittance function are displayed.

  17. Simulated Craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    The thick atmosphere of Venus prevents all but the largest impactors from cratering the surface. The number of small craters on Venus provides an interesting, and statistically significant test of models for the disruption and deceleration of impacting bodies. Here we compare Monte Carlo simulated crater distributions to the observed crater distribution on Venus. The simulation assumes: (1) a power law mass distribution for impactors of the form N(sub cum) alpha m (exp-b) where b=0.8; (2) isotropic incidence angles; (3) velocity at the top of the atmosphere of 20 kilometers per second (more realistic velocity distributions are also considered); (4) Schmidt-Housen crater scaling, modified such that only the normal component of the impact velocity contributes to cratering, and using crater slumping as parameterized (5) and modern populations (60% carbonaceous, 40% stone, 3% iron) and fluxes of asteroids. We use our previously developed model for the disruption and deceleration of large bodies striking thick planetary atmospheres to calculate the impact velocity at the surface as a function of impactor mass, incident velocity, and incident angle. We use a drag coefficient c(sub d) =1; other parameters are as described in Chyba et al. We set a low velocity cutoff of 500 meters per second on crater-forming impacts. Venus's craters are nicely matched by the simulated craters produced by 700 million years of striking asteroids. Shown for comparison are the simulated craters produced by incident comets over the same period, where for comets we have assumed b=0.7 and a flux at 10(exp 14) g 30% that of asteroids. Systematic uncertainties in crater scaling and crater slumping may make the surface age uncertain by a factor of two.

  18. Three ages of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles A.; Coombs, Cassandra R.

    1989-01-01

    A central question for any planet is the age of its surface. Based on comparative planetological arguments, Venus should be as young and active as the Earth (Wood and Francis). The detection of probable impact craters in the Venera radar images provides a tool for estimating the age of the surface of Venus. Assuming somewhat different crater production rates, Bazilevskiy et al. derived an age of 1 + or - 0.5 billion years, and Schaber et al. and Wood and Francis estimated an age of 200 to 400 million years. The known impact craters are not randomly distributed, however, thus some area must be older and others younger than this average age. Ages were derived for major geologic units on Venus using the Soviet catalog of impact craters (Bazilevskiy et al.), and the most accessible geologic unit map (Bazilevskiy). The crater counts are presented for (diameters greater than 20 km), areas, and crater densities for the 7 terrain units and coronae. The procedure for examining the distribution of craters is superior to the purely statistical approaches of Bazilevskiy et al. and Plaut and Arvidson because the bins are larger (average size 16 x 10(6) sq km) and geologically significant. Crater densities define three distinct groups: relatively heavily cratered (Lakshmi, mountain belts), moderately cratered (smooth and rolling plains, ridge belts, and tesserae), and essentially uncratered (coronae and domed uplands). Following Schaber et al., Grieve's terrestrial cratering rate of 5.4 + or - 2.7 craters greater than 20 km/10(9) yrs/10(6) sq km was used to calculate ages for the geologic units on Venus. To improve statistics, the data was aggregated into the three crater density groups, deriving the ages. For convenience, the three similar age groups are given informal time stratigraphic unit names, from youngest to oldest: Ulfrunian, Sednaian, Lakshmian.

  19. Aerobraking at Venus: A science and technology enabler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibbard, Kenneth; Glaze, Lori; Prince, Jill

    2012-04-01

    Venus remains one of the great unexplored planets in our solar system, with key questions remaining on the evolution of its atmosphere and climate, its volatile cycles, and the thermal and magmatic evolution of its surface. One potential approach toward answering these questions is to fly a reconnaissance mission that uses a multi-mode radar in a near-circular, low-altitude orbit of ∼400 km and 60-70° inclination. This type of mission profile results in a total mission delta-V of ∼4.4 km/s. Aerobraking could provide a significant portion, potentially up to half, of this energy transfer, thereby permitting more mass to be allocated to the spacecraft and science payload or facilitating the use of smaller, cheaper launch vehicles.Aerobraking at Venus also provides additional science benefits through the measurement of upper atmospheric density (recovered from accelerometer data) and temperature values, especially near the terminator where temperature changes are abrupt and constant pressure levels drop dramatically in altitude from day to night.Scientifically rich, Venus is also an ideal location for implementing aerobraking techniques. Its thick lower atmosphere and slow planet rotation result in relatively more predictable atmospheric densities than Mars. The upper atmosphere (aerobraking altitudes) of Venus has a density variation of 8% compared to Mars' 30% variability. In general, most aerobraking missions try to minimize the duration of the aerobraking phase to keep costs down. These short phases have limited margin to account for contingencies. It is the stable and predictive nature of Venus' atmosphere that provides safer aerobraking opportunities.The nature of aerobraking at Venus provides ideal opportunities to demonstrate aerobraking enhancements and techniques yet to be used at Mars, such as flying a temperature corridor (versus a heat-rate corridor) and using a thermal-response surface algorithm and autonomous aerobraking, shifting many daily ground

  20. Venus behind the clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raitala, J.; Tormanen, T.; Kauhanen, K.

    Magellan radar orbiter began its imaging task last Autumn. Its Synthetic Aperture Radar allows the surface of Venus be studied from the registered echoes. The 120 m per pixel resolution is 20 to 1000 times better than that of previous Venera 15/16 and Pioneer Venus orbiters, repectively. This year most of the Cytherean surface will be imaged by Magellan. Recent radar images reveal that surface of Venus displays evidences of strong endogenic activity. Volcanism has been important on lowlands which are resurfaced by extrusives in 0.1 to 1 times 10 to the 9th power years. Volcanic domes are abundant and there are also calderas formed by magma reservoir roof collapses. Fault systems are regular over wide areas with major grabens being 100 m to 10 km wide and 200 to 300 km long. Lavas and gas particle flows have been extremely low viscous causing stream like structures. On leeward sides of some volcanic pits there are wind deposits. Most of the impact craters are fresh looking with their interiors filled by radar dark lavas. Some small impact craters are unsymmetric due to the effects of dense atmosphere during fall and impact explosion.

  1. Mariner Venus Mercury, 1973. [close flyby investigation of mercury after Venus-flyby, and observation of Kohoutek comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, J. H.

    1973-01-01

    The Mariner Venus Mercury 1973 unmanned mission is discussed, which is designed to conduct a close flyby investigation of the planet Mercury after using the gravity-turn technique in a Venus flyby. Its scientific purposes include photographic, thermal, and spectral surveys, radio occulation, and charged particle/magnetic measurements at each planet, observation of solar-system fields and particles from 1.0 a.u. down to 0.4 a.u., and comparative planetary surveys between the Earth, the Moon, Venus, and Mercury. It is also intended to observe Kohoutek's comet. The trajectory permits establishment of a solar orbit in phase with Mercury's, permitting repeated encounters with that planet.

  2. Venus: The First Habitable World of Our Solar System?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Way, Michael Joseph; Del Genio, Anthony; Kiang, Nancy; Sohl, Linda; Clune, Tom; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2015-01-01

    A great deal of effort in the search for life off-Earth in the past 20+ years has focused on Mars via a plethora of space and ground based missions. While there is good evidence that surface liquid water existed on Mars in substantial quantities, it is not clear how long such water existed. Most studies point to this water existing billions of years ago. However,those familiar with the Faint Young Sun hypothesis for Earth will quickly realize that this problem is even more pronounced for Mars. In this context recent simulations have been completed with the GISS 3-D GCM (1) of paleo Venus (approx. 3 billion years ago) when the sun was approx. 25 less luminous than today. A combination of a less luminous Sun and a slow rotation rate reveal that Venus could have had conditions on its surface amenable to surface liquid water. Previous work has also provided bounds on how much water Venus could have had using measured DH ratios. It is possible that less assumptions have to be made to make Venus an early habitable world than have to be made for Mars, even thoughVenus is a much tougher world on which to confirm this hypothesis.

  3. A bulk cloud parameterization in a Venus General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Christopher; Lewis, Stephen R.; Read, Peter L.

    2010-04-01

    A condensing cloud parameterization is included in a super-rotating Venus General Circulation Model. A parameterization including condensation, evaporation and sedimentation of mono-modal sulfuric acid cloud particles is described. Saturation vapor pressure of sulfuric acid vapor is used to determine cloud formation through instantaneous condensation and destruction through evaporation, while pressure dependent viscosity of a carbon dioxide atmosphere is used to determine sedimentation rates assuming particles fall at their terminal Stokes velocity. Modifications are described to account for the large range of the Reynolds number seen in the Venus atmosphere. Two GCM experiments initialized with 10 ppm-equivalent of sulfuric acid are integrated for 30 Earth years and the results are discussed with reference to "Y" shaped cloud structures observed on Venus. The GCM is able to produce an analog of the "Y" shaped cloud structure through dynamical processes alone, with contributions from the mean westward wind, the equatorial Kelvin wave, and the mid-latitude/polar Mixed Rossby/Gravity waves. The cloud top height in the GCM decreases from equator to pole and latitudinal gradients of cloud top height are comparable to those observed by Pioneer Venus and Venus Express, and those produced in more complex microphysical models of the sulfur cycle on Venus. Differences between the modeled cloud structures and observations are described and dynamical explanations are suggested for the most prominent differences.

  4. EXCEED (SORA) mission overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, I.

    2013-05-01

    An earth-orbiting Extreme Ultraviolet spectroscopic mission, EXtreme ultraviolet spectrosCope for ExosphEric Dynamics explore (EXCEED) is ready for the launch. The EXCEED mission will carry out observations of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV: 60 -145 nm) emissions from tenuous plasmas around the planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter). It is necessary for planetary EUV spectroscopy to avoid the Earth's atmospheric absorption, therefore we have to observe above the Earth's atmosphere. In this paper, we will introduce the mission overview, the instrument, and the scientific targets.

  5. Measurement of solar wind electron density and temperature in the shocked region of Venus and the density and temperature of photoelectrons within the ionosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knudsen, William C.; Jones, Douglas E.; Peterson, Bryan G.; Knadler, Charles E.

    2016-08-01

    Presented herein are measurements of the solar wind electron number density and temperature near and within the bow shock of Venus. The measurements were made by the Pioneer Venus mission Orbiter Retarding Potential Analyzer operating in its suprathermal electron mode. The measurements are essentially point measurements. The spacecraft travels approximately 0.8 km during the 0.1 s time interval required to record a single I-V curve. The dual measurement of a density and temperature is obtained from one sweep by least squares fitting a mathematical Maxwellian expression to the I-V curve. The distance between successive measurements is approximately 100 km. In many orbits, when the spacecraft is crossing or traveling within the bow shock, the derived densities and temperatures (high density, high temperature (HDHT)) are large, densities of the order of 100 cm-3 and temperatures of the order of several hundred eV. We interpret these HDHT measurements as measurements in regions where the large, directed kinetic energy of the solar wind ions is being degraded into randomized, more thermal-like energy distributions of the electrons and ions through wave-particle interactions. The HDHT values define the electron energy distribution in the limited energy interval 0 to 50 eV. We assume that the underlying electron flux distributions are flat topped like those measured in the Earth's bow shock. We also report densities and temperatures of EUV produced photoelectron energy distributions measured within the ionosphere.

  6. Making the Venus Concept Watch 1.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Tibor S.; Melchiorri, Julian P.

    2014-08-01

    Over the past year we have celebrated the 50th anniversary of planetary exploration, which started with the Venus flyby of Mariner-2; and the 35th anniversary of the Pioneer-Venus multi-probe mission where one large and three small probes descended to the surface of Venus, encountering extreme environmental conditions. At the surface of Venus the temperature is about 460 °C, and the pressure is 92 bar, with a highly corrosive super-critical CO2 atmosphere. At a Venusian altitude of 50 km the pressure and temperature conditions are near Earth-like, but the clouds carry sulfuric acid droplets. Deep probe missions to Jupiter and Saturn, targeting the 100 bar pressure depth encounter similar pressure and temperature conditions as the Pioneer-Venus probes did. Mitigating these environments is highly challenging and requires special considerations for designs and materials. While assessing such space mission concepts, we have found that there is an overlap between the extreme environments in planetary atmospheres and the environments experienced by deep-sea explorers back on Earth. Consequently, the mitigation approaches could be also similar between planetary probes and diver watches. For example, both need to tolerate about 100 bar of pressure-although high temperatures are not factors on Earth. Mitigating these environments, the potential materials are: titanium for the probe and the watch housing; sapphire for the window and glass; resin impregnated woven carbon fiber for the aeroshell's thermal protection system and for the face of the watch; and nylon ribbon for the parachute and for the watch band. Planetary probes also utilize precision watches; thus there is yet another crosscutting functionality with diver watches. Our team, from the Innovation Design Engineering Program of the Royal College of Art, has designed and built a concept watch to commemorate these historical events, while highlighting advances in manufacturing processes over the past three to five

  7. Evaluation of Long Duration Flight on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2006-01-01

    An analysis was performed to evaluate the potential of utilizing either an airship or aircraft as a flight platform for long duration flight within the atmosphere of Venus. In order to achieve long-duration flight, the power system for the vehicle had to be capable of operating for extended periods of time. To accomplish these, two types of power systems were considered, a solar energy-based power system utilizing a photovoltaic array as the main power source and a radioisotope heat source power system utilizing a Stirling engine as the heat conversion device. Both types of vehicles and power systems were analyzed to determine their flight altitude range. This analysis was performed for a station-keeping mission where the vehicle had to maintain a flight over a location on the ground. This requires the vehicle to be capable of flying faster than the wind speed at a particular altitude. An analysis was also performed to evaluate the altitude range and maximum duration for a vehicle that was not required to maintain station over a specified location. The results of the analysis show that each type of flight vehicle and power system was capable of flight within certain portions of Venus s atmosphere. The aircraft, both solar and radioisotope power proved to be the most versatile and provided the greatest range of coverage both for station-keeping and non-station-keeping missions.

  8. Towards a Self Consistent Model of the Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, S. S.

    2014-04-01

    An International Team has been formed under the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), Bern, Switzerland to consider results on the thermal structure of the Venus atmosphere obtained from space missions and ground based observations since the Venus International Reference Atmosphere was developed [1] and to arrive at a self consistent model of the atmospheric structure - temperature and density with altitude/pressure from the available results.

  9. Long-Lived Venus Lander Conceptual Design: How To Keep It Cool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Ridger W.; Schmitz, Paul C.; Penswick, L. Barry; Bruder, Geoffrey A.

    2009-01-01

    Surprisingly little is known about Venus, our neighboring sister planet in the solar system, due to the challenges of operating in its extremely hot, corrosive, and dense environment. For example, after over two dozen missions to the planet, the longest-lived lander was the Soviet Venera 13, and it only survived two hours on the surface. Several conceptual Venus mission studies have been formulated in the past two decades proposing lander architectures that potentially extend lander lifetime. Most recently, the Venus Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) was commissioned by NASA to study a Venus Flagship Mission potentially launching in the 2020- 2025 time-frame; the reference lander of this study is designed to survive for only a few hours more than Venera 13 launched back in 1981! Since Cytherean mission planners lack a viable approach to a long-lived surface architecture, specific scientific objectives outlined in the National Science Foundation Decadal Survey and Venus Exploration Advisory Group final report cannot be completed. These include: mapping the mineralogy and composition of the surface on a planetary scale determining the age of various rock samples on Venus, searching for evidence of changes in interior dynamics (seismometry) and its impact on climate and many other key observations that benefit with time scales of at least a full Venus day (Le. daylight/night cycle). This report reviews those studies and recommends a hybrid lander architecture that can survive for at least one Venus day (243 Earth days) by incorporating selective Stirling multi-stage active cooling and hybrid thermoacoustic power.

  10. Pioneer Venus radar mapper experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pettengill, G.H.; Ford, P.G.; Brown, W.E.; Kaula, W.M.; Keller, C.H.; Masursky, H.; McGill, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    Altimetry and radar scattering data for Venus, obtained from 10 of the first 13 orbits of the Pioneer Venus orbiter, have disclosed what appears to be a rift valley having vertical relief of up to 7 kilometers, as well as a neighboring, gently rolling plain. Planetary oblateness appears unlikely to exceed 112500 and may be substantially smaller. Copyright ?? 1979 AAAS.

  11. Venus: Interaction with Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, C.; Luhmann, J.; Murdin, P.

    2002-07-01

    The solar wind interaction with VENUS provides the archetypal interaction of a flowing magnetized PLASMA with a PLANETARY IONOSPHERE. Mars interacts with the solar wind in much the same way as does Venus, while the rotating plasma in the Saturnian magnetosphere is believed to interact similarly with its moon, Titan (see SATURN: MAGNETOSPHERE INTERACTION WITH TITAN). The interaction of the Jovian ...

  12. The thermal conditions of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zharkov, Vladimir N.; Solomatov, V. S.

    1991-01-01

    Models of Venus' thermal evolution are examined. The following subject areas are covered: (1) modified approximation of parameterized convection; (2) description of the model; (3) numerical results and asymptotic solution of the MAPC equations; (4) magnetism and the thermal regime of the cores of Earth and Venus; and (5) the thermal regime of the Venusian crust.

  13. Report of the Terrestrial Bodies Science Working Group. Volume 3: Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaula, W. M.; Malin, M. C.; Masursky, H.; Pettengill, G.; Prinn, R.; Young, R. E.

    1977-01-01

    The science objectives of Pioneer Venus and future investigations of the planet are discussed. Concepts and payloads for proposed missions and the supporting research and technology required to obtain the desired measurements from space and Earth-based observations are examined, as well as mission priorities and schedules.

  14. VENUS-2 Experimental Benchmark Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Pavlovichev, A.M.

    2001-09-28

    The VENUS critical facility is a zero power reactor located at SCK-CEN, Mol, Belgium, which for the VENUS-2 experiment utilized a mixed-oxide core with near-weapons-grade plutonium. In addition to the VENUS-2 Core, additional computational variants based on each type of fuel cycle VENUS-2 core (3.3 wt. % UO{sub 2}, 4.0 wt. % UO{sub 2}, and 2.0/2.7 wt.% MOX) were also calculated. The VENUS-2 critical configuration and cell variants have been calculated with MCU-REA, which is a continuous energy Monte Carlo code system developed at Russian Research Center ''Kurchatov Institute'' and is used extensively in the Fissile Materials Disposition Program. The calculations resulted in a k{sub eff} of 0.99652 {+-} 0.00025 and relative pin powers within 2% for UO{sub 2} pins and 3% for MOX pins of the experimental values.

  15. Hydroxyl airglow on Venus in comparison with Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Cardesín Moinelo, A.; Drossart, P.

    2011-08-01

    Hydroxyl nightglow is intensively studied in the Earth atmosphere, due to its coupling to the ozone cycle. Recently, it was detected for the first time also in the Venus atmosphere, thanks to the VIRTIS-Venus Express observations. The main Δ ν=1, 2 emissions in the infrared spectral range, centred, respectively, at 2.81 and 1.46 μm (which correspond to the (1-0) and (2-0) transitions, respectively), were observed in limb geometry ( Piccioni et al., 2008) with a mean emission rate of 880±90 and 100±40 kR (1R=10 6 photon cm -2 s -1 (4 πster) -1), respectively, integrated along the line of sight. In this investigation, the Bates-Nicolet chemical reaction is reported to be the most probable mechanism for OH production on Venus, as in the case of Earth, but HO 2 and O may still be not negligible as mechanism of production for OH, differently than Earth. The nightglow emission from OH provides a method to quantify O 3, HO 2, H and O, and to infer the mechanism of transport of the key species involved in the production. Very recently, an ozone layer was detected in the upper atmosphere of Venus by the SPICAV (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus) instrument onboard Venus Express ( Montmessin et al., 2009); this discovery enhances the importance of ozone to the OH production in the upper atmosphere of Venus through the Bates-Nicolet mechanism. On Venus, OH airglow is observed only in the night side and no evidence has been found whether a similar emission exists also in the day side. On Mars it is expected to exist both on the day and night sides of the planet, because of the presence of ozone, though OH airglow has not yet been detected. In this paper, we review and compare the OH nightglow on Venus and Earth. The case of Mars is also briefly discussed for the sake of completeness. Similarities from a chemical and a dynamical point of view are listed, though visible OH emissions on Earth and IR OH emissions on Venus are

  16. VEM on VERITAS - Retrieval of global infrared surface emissivity maps of Venus and expectable retrieval uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappel, David; Arnold, Gabriele; Haus, Rainer; Helbert, Jörn; Smrekar, Suzanne; Hensley, Scott

    2016-04-01

    Even though Venus is in many respects the most Earth-like planet we know today, its surface composition and geology are not well understood yet. The major obstacle is the extremely dense, hot, and opaque atmosphere that complicates both in situ measurements and infrared remote sensing, the wavelength range of the latter often being the range of choice due to its coverage of many spectral properties diagnostic to the surface material's composition and texture. Thermal emissions of the hot surface depend on surface temperature and on spectral surface emissivity. As this emitted radiation wells upward, it is strongly attenuated through absorption and multiple scattering by the gaseous and particulate components of the dense atmosphere, and it is superimposed by thermal atmospheric emissions. While surface information this way carried to space is completely lost in the scattered sunlight on the dayside, a few narrow atmospheric transparency windows around 1 μm allow the sounding of the surface with nightside measurements. The successfully completed VEX ('Venus Express') mission, although not dedicated to surface science, enabled a first glimpse at much of the southern hemisphere's surface through the nightside spectral transparency windows covered by VIRTIS-M-IR ('Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer, Mapping channel in the IR', 1.0-5.1 μm). Two complementary approaches, a fast semi-empiric technique on the one hand, and a more fundamental but resource-intensive method based on a fully regularized Bayesian multi-spectrum retrieval algorithm in combination with a detailed radiative transfer simulation program on the other hand, were both successfully applied to derive surface emissivity data maps. Both methods suffered from lack of spatial coverage and a small SNR as well as from surface topography maps not sufficiently accurate for the definition of suitable boundary conditions for surface emissivity retrieval. The recently proposed VERITAS mission

  17. On the Geological History of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Head, J. W.

    2008-09-01

    mostly based on the analysis of data acquired by the Magellan mission: SAR images with 100-200 m resolution and the maps of topography, surface radar reflectivity, emissivity, roughness and gravity anomalies [1]. After initial analysis of the data summarized in [2, 3] several groups of researchers continued to study the geology and geophysics of the planet, resulting in numerous publications, some of which are referenced below. Very important for the studies emphasizing the geologic history of Venus was, and still is, a program of 1:5,000,000 geologic mapping coordinated by the US Geological Survey [4]. A recent summary of these studies can be found in [5]. Observations and analysis: All researchers in this study area analyze the same data sets and follow the same guidelines [4, 6] so geologic units identified by them and their time sequences are generally similar, although different researchers may name the same units differently and may interpret differently some details of local time sequences. Figure 1 shows a time sequence of geologic units suggested by [7, 8]: materials of tessera terrain (tt), densely fractured plains (pdf), fractured and ridged plains (pfr), shield plains (psh), plains with wrinkle ridges (pwr), lobate (pl) and smooth (ps) plains as well as materials of radar-dark craterassociated parabolas (cdp). These are material units. In addition, some researchers identify and map structural units. In Figure 1 examples of these are fracture belts (fb) and rifted terrain (rt). synchronous on a global scale. The first option can be visualized with Figure 1, suggesting that it is applicable for Venus globally. This option was suggested by Basilevsky and Head [e.g., 7, 8] as well as by Ivanov and Head [e.g., 9]. The second option, first clearly formulated by [10], can be visualized by the upper part of Figure 2 showing the situation in three different hypothetical geologic provinces on Venus. In these provinces the unit time sequences are the same: tt

  18. Ion escape from Venus using statistical distribution functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordstrom, T.; Stenberg, G.; Nilsson, H.; Barabash, S.; Futaana, Y.

    2012-04-01

    We use more than three years of data from the ASPERA-4 instrument onboard Venus Express to compile statistical distribution functions of ion flux in and around induced magnetosphere of Venus. We present samples of statistical distribution functions, as well average flux patterns in the near Venus space based on the statistical distribution functions. The statistical distribution functions allows for a compensation of biased sampling regarding both position and angular coverage of the instrument. Protons and heavy ions (mass/charge > 16) are the major ion species escaping from Venus. The escape is due to acceleration of planetary ions by energy transfer from the solar wind. The ion escape appears to exclusively take place in the induced magnetotail region and no heavy ions are present in the magnetosheath. Protons of solar wind origin are travelling around the planet and penetrating the tail, resulting in a mix of planetary and solar wind protons inside the induced magnetosphere boundary. The escape rates of ions inside the tail agree with results from recent published studies, where other analysis methods have been used. We also compare our results for Venus with a recent study of ion escape from Mars, where the same analysis method has been applied to data from the ASPERA-3 instrument on Mars Express. Both Mars and Venus are unmagnetized planets and are expected to interact similarly with the solar wind. On Mars the heavy ions are seen escaping in both the magnetosheath and tail regions as opposed to Venus where escape only takes place inside the tail. A possible explanation is that the magnetosphere of Mars is smaller compared to the ion gyroradius, making it easier for the ions to pass through the induced magnetosphere boundary. On both planets the escape rates of heavy ions in the tail are constant with increasing tail distance, verifying that the ions are leaving the planet in this region.

  19. Observed correlation of Venus topography with the zonal wind and albedo at cloud top level: the role of stationary gravity waves.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Khatunstsev, Igor; Hauchecorne, Alain; Markiewicz, Wojtek; Emmanuel, Marcq; Sébastien, Lebonnois; Marina, Patsaeva; Alex, Turin; Anna, Fedorova

    2016-04-01

    Based on the analysis of UV images (at 365 nm) of Venus cloud top (altitude 67±2 km) collected with VMC (Venus Monitoring Camera) on board Venus Express (VEX), it is found that the zonal wind speed south of the equator (from 5°S to 15°s) shows a conspicuous variation (from -101 to -83 m/s) with geographic longitude of Venus, correlated with the underlying relief of Aphrodite Terra. We interpret this pattern as the result of stationary gravity waves produced at ground level by the up lift of air when the horizontal wind encounters a mountain slope. These waves can propagate up to cloud top level, break there and transfer their momentum to the zonal flow. Such upward propagation of gravity waves and influence on the wind speed vertical profile was shown to play an important role in the middle atmosphere of the Earth by Lindzen [1981], but is not reproduced in a current GCM of Venus atmosphere. Consistent with present findings, the two VEGA mission balloons experienced a small, but significant, difference of westward velocity, at their 53 km floating altitude. The albedo at 365 nm varies also with longitude and latitude in a pattern strikingly similar in the low latitude regions to a recent map of cloud top H2O [Fedorova et al., 2015], in which a lower UV albedo is correlated with increased H2O. We argue that H2O enhancement is the sign of upwelling, suggesting that the UV absorber is also brought to cloud top by upwelling.

  20. Non-Cooled Power System for Venus Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salazar, Denise; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    The Planetary Science Decadal Survey of 2013-2022 stated that the exploration of Venus is of significant interest. Studying the seismic activity of the planet is of particular importance because the findings can be compared to the seismic activity of Earth. Further, the geological and atmospheric properties of Venus will shed light into the past and future of Earth. This paper presents a radioisotope power system (RPS) design for a small low-power Venus lander. The feasibility of the new power system is then compared to that of primary batteries. A requirement for the power source system is to avoid moving parts in order to not interfere with the primary objective of the mission - to collect data about the seismic activity of Venus using a seismometer. The target mission duration of the lander is 117 days, a significant leap from Venera 13, the longest-lived lander on the surface of Venus, which survived for 2 hours. One major assumption for this mission design is that the power source system will not provide cooling to the other components of the lander. This assumption is based on high-temperature electronics technology that will enable the electronics and components of the lander to operate at Venus surface temperature. For the proposed RPS, a customized General Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (GPHSRTG) is designed and analyzed. The GPHS-RTG is chosen primarily because it has no moving parts and it is capable of operating for long duration missions on the order of years. This power system is modeled as a spherical structure for a fundamental thermal analysis. The total mass and electrical output of the system are calculated to be 24 kilograms and 26 Watts, respectively. An alternative design for a battery-based power system uses Sodium Sulfur batteries. To deliver a similar electrical output for 117 days, the battery mass is calculated to be 234 kilograms. Reducing mission duration or power required will reduce the required battery mass

  1. Beagle 2: a proposed exobiology lander for ESA's 2003 Mars Express mission.

    PubMed

    Sims, M R; Pillinger, C T; Wright, I P; Dowson, J; Whitehead, S; Wells, A; Spragg, J E; Fraser, G; Richter, L; Hamacher, H; Johnstone, A; Meredith, N P; de la Nougerede, C; Hancock, B; Turner, R; Peskett, S; Brack, A; Hobbs, J; Newns, M; Senior, A; Humphries, M; Keller, H U; Thomas, N; Lingard, J S; Ng, T C

    1999-01-01

    The aim of the proposed Beagle 2 small lander for ESA's 2003 Mars Express mission is to search for organic material on and below the surface of Mars and to study the inorganic chemistry and mineralogy of the landing site. The lander will have a total mass of 60kg including entry, descent, and landing system. Experiments will be deployed on the surface using a robotic arm. It will use a mechanical mole and grinder to obtain samples from below the surface, under rocks, and inside rocks. Sample analysis by a mass spectrometer will include isotopic analysis. An optical microscope, an X-ray spectrometer and a Mossbauer spectrometer will conduct in-situ rock studies.

  2. Beagle 2: a proposed exobiology lander for ESA's 2003 Mars express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sims, M. R.; Pillinger, C. T.; Wright, I. P.; Dowson, J.; Whitehead, S.; Wells, A.; Spragg, J. E.; Fraser, G.; Richter, L.; Hamacher, H.; Johnstone, A.; Meredith, N. P.; de La Nougerede, C.; Hancock, B.; Turner, R.; Peskett, S.; Brack, A.; Hobbs, J.; Newns, M.; Senior, A.; Humphries, M.; Keller, H. U.; Thomas, N.; Lingard, J. S.; Underwood, J. C.; Sale, N. M.; Neal, M. F.; Klingelhofer, G.; Ng, T. C.

    1999-01-01

    The aim of the proposed Beagle 2 small lander for ESA's 2003 Mars Express mission is to search for organic material on and below the surface of Mars and to study the inorganic chemistry and mineralogy of the landing site. The lander will have a total mass of 60kg including entry, descent, and landing system. Experiments will be deployed on the surface using a robotic arm. It will use a mechanical mole and grinder to obtain samples from below the surface, under rocks, and inside rocks. Sample analysis by a mass spectrometer will include isotopic analysis. An optical microscope, an X- ray spectrometer and a Mossbauer spectrometer will conduct in-situ rock studies.

  3. Venus Surface Sample Return: A Weighty High-Pressure Challenge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sweetser, Ted; Cameron, Jonathon; Chen, Gun-Shing; Cutts, Jim; Gershman, Bob; Gilmore, Martha S.; Hall, Jeffrey L.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor; McRonald, Angus; Nilsen, Erik

    1999-01-01

    A mission to return a sample to Earth from the surface of Venus faces a multitude of multidisciplinary challenges. In addition to the complications inherent in any sample return mission, Venus presents the additional difficulties of a deep gravity well essentially equivalent to Earth's and a hot-house atmosphere which generates extremes of high temperature, density, and pressure unmatched at any other known surface in the solar system. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology recently conducted a study to develop an architecture for such a mission; a major goal of this study was to identify technology developments which would need to be pursued in order to make such a mission feasible at a cost much less than estimated in previous. The final design of this mission is years away but the study results presented here show our current mission architecture as it applies to a particular mission opportunity, give a summary of the engineering and science trades which were made in the process of developing it, and identify the main technology development efforts needed.

  4. Pioneer Venus gas chromatography of the lower atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oyama, V. I.; Carle, G. C.; Woeller, F.; Pollack, J. B.; Reynolds, R. T.; Craig, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    A gas chromatograph mounted in the Pioneer Venus sounder probe measured the chemical composition of the atmosphere of Venus at three altitudes. Ne, N2, O2, Ar, CO, H2O, SO2, and CO2 were measured, and upper limits set for H2, COS, H2S, CH4, Kr, N2O, C2H4, C2H6, and C3H8. Simulation studies have provided indirect evidence for sulfuric acid-like droplets and support the possibility of water vapor at altitudes of 42 and 24 km. The paper discusses the implications of these results for the origin, evolution, and present state of Venus' atmosphere.

  5. Ultra-Low-Frequency Waves at Venus and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E.; Fraenz, M.

    2016-02-01

    Mars and Venus have no global magnetic field. The solar wind interacts directly with their ionospheres and atmospheres, inducing magnetospheres by a pileup of the interplanetary magnetic field. The first measurements of the ultra-low-frequency activity on Mars were made by the Phobos-2 spacecraft. This chapter investigates the wave observations recently supplied by the Mars Global Surveyor, Venus Express, and Mars Express. Coherent wave structures are a typical feature of the Martian magnetosheath. It is likely that the periodic compressional waves generated upstream of the bow shock are transported to the magnetosheath. At Venus, there has often been observed a penetration of the field oscillations downward to the ionosphere. Periodic oscillations of the escaping oxygen ions were typically observed in the Martian tail by MEX. It seems reasonable to suggest that the observed oscillations take their origin in the foreshock/magnetosheath and then propagate to the ionosphere and further to the tail.

  6. Plasma vortices, lateral forcing, and the superrotating Venus atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, R.; Barabash, S.; Futaana, S.; Holmstrom, M.; Perez-de-Tejada, H.; Sauvaud, J.-A.

    2012-04-01

    New observations from Venus Express (VEX) show the existence of a large-scale vortex-like ion flow pattern in the Venus plasma tail. The flow pattern is characterized by besides a dominating antisunward flow, also a lateral flow component of solar wind (H+) and ionospheric (O+) ions. The lateral flow component is directed opposite to the Venus orbital motion. A test of the energy and momentum balance between solar wind H+ and ionospheric O+ indicates that the energy and momentum delivered to O+ is proportional to the loss of energy and momentum by solar wind H+. The combined antisunward and lateral H+ and O+ flow wraps over the planetary atmosphere, from the terminator into the nightside. The net lateral flow near Venus is in the direction of the Venus atmospheric superrotation. Further down in the Venus plasma tail the flow display a circular motion around the central tail axis. The general agreement in direction between the nightside ion flow over the Northern hemisphere, and the retrograde motion of the Venus atmosphere, implies a cause-effect relation between the ionospheric O+ flow and the atmospheric neutral flow. This underlying connection is further strengthened by the fact the the O+ flow velocity in the 200-300 km altitude range follows the same power law curve as that fitted to the atmospheric zonal wind velocity profile [1]. The combined ion + neutral wind profile therefore implies momentum balance between the ionospheric and atmospheric retrograde flow. The fact that the O+ flow is driven by solar wind forcing leaves us with the question: Is the superrotating upper atmosphere at Venus a consequence of solar wind forcing? Is the ion flow capable of accelerating, and maintaining, a superrotating upper atmosphere at Venus? Combining ion data [2] with a fluid dynamic model of the energy and momentum transfer of ions to neutrals we find that this is certainly possible. The ionospheric O+ energy and momentum observed is sufficient to accelerate, and maintain

  7. Terrestrial subaqueous seafloor dunes: Possible analogs for Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neakrase, Lynn D.V.; Klose, Martina; Titus, Timothy N.

    2017-01-01

    Dunes on Venus, first discovered with Magellan Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in the early 1990s, have fueled discussions about the viability of Venusian dunes and aeolian grain transport. Confined to two locations on Venus, the existence of the interpreted dunes provides evidence that there could be transportable material being mobilized into aeolian bedforms at the surface. However, because of the high-pressure high-temperature surface conditions, laboratory analog studies are difficult to conduct and results are difficult to extrapolate to full-sized, aeolian bedforms. Field sites of desert dunes, which are well-studied on Earth and Mars, are not analogous to what is observed on Venus because of the differences in the fluid environments. One potentially underexplored possibility in planetary science for Venus-analog dune fields could be subaqueous, seafloor dune fields on Earth. Known to the marine geology communities since the early 1960s, seafloor dunes are rarely cited in planetary aeolian bedform literature, but could provide a necessary thick-atmosphere extension to the classically studied aeolian dune environment literature for thinner atmospheres. Through discussion of the similarity of the two environments, and examples of dunes and ripples cited in marine literature, we provide evidence that subaqueous seafloor dunes could serve as analogs for dunes on Venus. Furthermore, the evidence presented here demonstrates the usefulness of the marine literature for thick-atmosphere planetary environments and potentially for upcoming habitable worlds and oceanic environment research program opportunities. Such useful cross-disciplinary discussion of dune environments is applicable to many planetary environments (Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, etc.) and potential future missions.

  8. Progress report on VENUS

    SciTech Connect

    Leitner, Matthaeus A.; Leitner, Daniela; Abbott, Steve R.; Taylor, Clyde E.; Lyneis, Claude

    2002-09-03

    The construction of VENUS, a next generation superconducting Electron Cyclotron Resonance ion source designed to operate at 28 GHz, is complete. The cryostat including the superconducting magnet assembly was delivered in September 2001. During acceptance tests, the superconducting magnets produced an axial magnetic field strength of 4T at injection, 3T at extraction, and a radial field strength of 2T at the plasma chamber wall without any quenches. These fields are sufficient for optimum operation at 28 GHz. The cryogenic system for VENUS has been designed to operate at 4.2 K with two cryocoolers each providing up to 45 W of cooling at 50 K and 1.5 W at 4 K in a closed loop mode without further helium transfers. However, during the acceptance tests an excessive heat leak of about 3W was measured. In addition, the liquid helium heat exchanger did not work properly and had to be redesigned. The cryogenic system modifications will be described. In addition, an update on the installation of the ion source and its beam line components will be given.

  9. Survey of the spectral properties of turbulence in the solar wind, the magnetospheres of Venus and Earth, at solar minimum and maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Echim, Marius M.

    2014-05-01

    In the framework of the European FP7 project STORM ("Solar system plasma Turbulence: Observations, inteRmittency and Multifractals") we analyze the properties of turbulence in various regions of the solar system, for the minimum and respectively maximum of the solar activity. The main scientific objective of STORM is to advance the understanding of the turbulent energy transfer, intermittency and multifractals in space plasmas. Specific analysis methods are applied on magnetic field and plasma data provided by Ulysses, Venus Express and Cluster, as well as other solar system missions (e.g. Giotto, Cassini). In this paper we provide an overview of the spectral properties of turbulence derived from Power Spectral Densities (PSD) computed in the solar wind (from Ulysses, Cluster, Venus Express) and at the interface of planetary magnetospheres with the solar wind (from Venus Express, Cluster). Ulysses provides data in the solar wind between 1992 and 2008, out of the ecliptic, at radial distances ranging between 1.3 and 5.4 AU. We selected only those Ulysses data that satisfy a consolidated set of selection criteria able to identify "pure" fast and slow wind. We analyzed Venus Express data close to the orbital apogee, in the solar wind, at 0.72 AU, and in the Venus magnetosheath. We investigated Cluster data in the solar wind (for time intervals not affected by planetary ions effects), the magnetosheath and few crossings of other key magnetospheric regions (cusp, plasma sheet). We organize our PSD results in three solar wind data bases (one for the solar maximum, 1999-2001, two for the solar minimum, 1997-1998 and respectively, 2007-2008), and two planetary databases (one for the solar maximum, 2000-2001, that includes PSD obtained in the terrestrial magnetosphere, and one for the solar minimum, 2007-2008, that includes PSD obtained in the terrestrial and Venus magnetospheres and magnetosheaths). In addition to investigating the properties of turbulence for the minimum

  10. Geologic Map of the Mylitta Fluctus Quadrangle (V-61), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ivanov, Mikhail A.; Head, James W.

    2006-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The Magellan Mission The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included: (1) improving knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology, and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three data sets: (1) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, (2) passive microwave thermal emission observations, and (3) measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging, altimetric, and radiometric mapping of the Venusian surface was done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3 from September 1990 until September 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution on the order of 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution, and these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal-receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied between about 20? and 45?. High resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft took place from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). Approximately 950 orbits of high-resolution gravity observations were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993 while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 km and an apoapsis near 8,000 km. An additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbit-circularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75? by 75? harmonic field.

  11. Venus' rotation and atmospheric tides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingersoll, A. P.; Dobrovolskis, A. R.

    1978-01-01

    On the basis of a presented theory, it is suggested that Venus' current rotation is a stable balance between atmospheric and solar body tides. The theory is concerned with Venus' atmospheric tides, driven by solar heating, and how these tides could serve as a third torque to balance the effects of solar body torque and to maintain a stable equilibrium resonance with regard to the earth's gravitational effects. In the absence of the atmospheric tidal torque, or some other torque, it would be expected that Venus would be despun until synchronous rotation (one side always facing the sun) is attained, rather than retain the retrograde rotation period of 243 days.

  12. The 2012 Transit of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deans, P.

    2012-08-01

    On June 5-6, 2012, much of the world will experience an event that will not occur again for another 105 years - a transit of Venus. During the 18th and 19th centuries, astronomers made arduous trips to remote corners of Earth to make Venus transit observations in an attempt to calculate the Earth-Sun distance. Today a transit of Venus is simply a rare spectacle. But it is important to take care when viewing it, because observing the Sun is dangerous if proper filters for eye protection are not used.

  13. Naming the newly found landforms on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Russell, J. F.

    1991-01-01

    The mapping of Venus is unique in the history of cartigraphy; never has so much territory been discovered and mapped in so short a period of time. Therefore, in the interest of international scientific communication, there is a unique urgency to the development of a system of names for surface features on Venus. The process began with the naming of features seen on radar images taken from Earth and continued through mapping expeditions of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. However, the Magellan Mission resolves features twenty-five times smaller than those mapped previously, and its radar data will cover an area nearly equivalent to that of the continents and the sea-floors of the Earth combined. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was charged with the formal endorsement of names of features on the planets. Proposed names are collected, approved, and applied through the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) and its task groups, prior to IAU approval by the IAU General Assembly. Names approved by the WGPSN and its task groups, prior to final approval may be used on published maps and articles, provided that their provisional nature is stipulated. The IAU has established themes for the names to be used on each of the planets; names of historical and mythological women are used on Venus. Names of political entities and those identified with active religions are not acceptable, and a person must have been deceased for three years or more to be considered. Any interested person may propose a name for consideration by the IAU.

  14. Using the transit of Venus to probe the upper planetary atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Reale, Fabio; Gambino, Angelo F; Micela, Giuseppina; Maggio, Antonio; Widemann, Thomas; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2015-06-23

    During a planetary transit, atoms with high atomic number absorb short-wavelength radiation in the upper atmosphere, and the planet should appear larger during a primary transit observed in high-energy bands than in the optical band. Here we measure the radius of Venus with subpixel accuracy during the transit in 2012 observed in the optical, ultraviolet and soft X-rays with Hinode and Solar Dynamics Observatory missions. We find that, while Venus's optical radius is about 80 km larger than the solid body radius (the top of clouds and haze), the radius increases further by >70 km in the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-rays. This measures the altitude of the densest ion layers of Venus's ionosphere (CO2 and CO), useful for planning missions in situ, and a benchmark case for detecting transits of exoplanets in high-energy bands with future missions, such as the ESA Athena.

  15. Using the transit of Venus to probe the upper planetary atmosphere

    PubMed Central

    Reale, Fabio; Gambino, Angelo F.; Micela, Giuseppina; Maggio, Antonio; Widemann, Thomas; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    During a planetary transit, atoms with high atomic number absorb short-wavelength radiation in the upper atmosphere, and the planet should appear larger during a primary transit observed in high-energy bands than in the optical band. Here we measure the radius of Venus with subpixel accuracy during the transit in 2012 observed in the optical, ultraviolet and soft X-rays with Hinode and Solar Dynamics Observatory missions. We find that, while Venus's optical radius is about 80 km larger than the solid body radius (the top of clouds and haze), the radius increases further by >70 km in the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-rays. This measures the altitude of the densest ion layers of Venus's ionosphere (CO2 and CO), useful for planning missions in situ, and a benchmark case for detecting transits of exoplanets in high-energy bands with future missions, such as the ESA Athena. PMID:26102562

  16. Ballistic mode Mercury orbiter mission opportunity handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbeck, G. R.; Roos, D. G.; Lewis, P. S.

    1973-01-01

    Significant payloads in Mercury orbit can be achieved through use of high-thrust, chemical propulsion systems on ballistic trajectories. Interplanetary trajectory characteristics are presented, for Venus swingbys to Mercury, were multiple revolutions about the sun are allowed on each leg to provide low energy mission in 1977, 1980, 1985 and 1988. Guidance and navigation results are shown for each opportunity. Additionally, the use of midcourse maneuvers and multiple Venus swingbys are explored as means of further reducing the energy requirements.

  17. An analysis of AMTEC, multi-cell ground-demo for the Pluto/Express mission

    SciTech Connect

    Tournier, J.M.; El-Genk, M.S.

    1998-07-01

    Results of recent tests of an 8-cell, AMTEC ground-demo are analyzed and the performance of individual cells compared. The ground-demo produced a peak electric power of 27 W{sub e} at an output voltage of 16 V, when tested at hot and cold side temperatures of 1123 K and 553 K. The electric power output and terminal voltage of the individual cells, however, differed by as much as 25%, from 2.94 to 3.76 W{sub e}, and 1.73 to 2.21 V, respectively. These variations were attributed to differences in: (a) contact resistance between electrode / BASE / current collector; (b) current (or electrons) leakage between anode and cathode electrodes through the metal-ceramic braze joint between BASE tubes and support plate; and (c) the charge-exchange polarization losses. Model's predictions compared very well with measured voltage and electric power output of individual cells and of the ground-demo. At the operating conditions for the Pluto/Express spacecraft (T{sub hot} {approximately} 1200 K, T{sub cd} {approximately} 573 K), the best performing ground-demo cell would have delivered 5 W{sub e} at an output voltage of 3 V. These values, however, are still significantly lower than those needed to meet the Pluto/Express mission power requirements (8.2 W{sub e} at 3.5 V, per cell).

  18. Battery performance simulation for the Magellan mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glueck, Peter

    1991-01-01

    A battery performance simulation for the Magellan mission to Venus has been operating at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for nearly three years. The unique operational requirements for the Magellan batteries and the test system constructed to simulate them are described. Simulation results to date are presented and compared with actual spacecraft battery performance. Recommendations for planning of future mission simulation tests are provided.

  19. Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the North Pole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The hemispheric view of Venus, as revealed by more than a decade of radar investigations culminating in the 1990-1994 Magellan mission, is centered on the North Pole. The Magellan spacecraft imaged more than 98% of Venus at a resolution of about 100 meters; the effective resolution of this image is about 3 km. A mosaic of the Magellan images (most with illumination from the west) forms the image base. Gaps in the Magellan coverage were filled with images from the Earth-based Arecibo radar in a region centered roughly on 0 degree latitude and longitude, and with a neutral tone elsewhere (primarily near the south pole). The composite image was processed to improve contrast and to emphasize small features, and was color-coded to represent elevation. Gaps in the elevation data from the Magellan radar altimeter were filled with altimetry from the Venera spacecraft and the U.S. Pioneer Venus missions. An orthographic projection was used, simulating a distant view of one hemisphere of the planet. The Magellan mission was managed for NASA by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA. Data processed by JPL, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and the U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ.

  20. Clouds and aerosols on Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitri; Ignatiev, Nikolay; McGouldrick, Kevin; Wilquet, Valerie; Wilson, Colin

    2015-04-01

    The past decade demonstrated significant progress in understanding of the Venus cloud system. Venus Express observations revealed significant latitudinal variations and temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology. The cloud top altitude varies from ~72 km in the low and middle latitudes to ~64 km in the polar region, correlated with decrease of the aerosol scale height from 4 ± 1.6 km to 1.7 ± 2.4 km marking a vast polar depression. The UV imaging shows the middle latitudes and polar regions in unprecedented detail. The eye of the Southern polar vortex was found to be a strongly variable feature with complex morphology and dynamics. Solar and stellar occultations give access to a vertical profiling of the light absorption by the aerosols in the upper haze. The aerosol loading in the mesosphere of Venus investigated by SPICAV experiment onboard Venus Express between 2006 and 2010 was highly variable on both short and long time scales. The extinction at a given altitude can vary with a factor of 10 for occultations separated by a few Earth days. The extinction at a given altitude is also significantly lower towards the poles (by a factor 10 at least) compared to the values around the equator, while there is apparently no correlation between the extinction and the latitude in the region comprised between ±40° around the equator. Based on the Mie theory and on the observed spectral dependence of light extinction in spectra recorded simultaneously in the UV (SPICAV-UV), in the near IR (SPICAV-IR), and in the short-and mid-wavelength IR (SPICAV-SOIR), the size distribution of aerosols in the upper haze of Venus was retrieved, assuming H2SO4/water composition of the droplets. The optical model includes H2SO4 concentrations from 60% to 85%. A number of results are strikingly new: (1) an increase of the H2SO4 concentration with a decreasing altitude (from 70-75% at about 90 km to 85% at 70 km of altitude) and (2) Many SOIR/SPICAV data cannot be fitted when using

  1. Clouds and aerosols on Venus: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; McGouldrick, K.; Wilquet, V.; Wilson, C. F.

    2014-04-01

    The past decade demonstrated significant progress in understanding of the Venus cloud system. This paper gives a summary of new observations and modelling efforts that will form the basis for a relevant chapter in the Venus III book. Venus Express observations reveal significant latitudinal variations and temporal changes in the global cloud top morphology [1]. The cloud top altitude varies from ~72 km in the low and middle latitudes to ~64 km in the polar region, correlated with decrease of the aerosol scale height from 4 ± 1.6 km to 1.7 ± 2.4 km marking a vast polar depression [2, 3]. UV imaging shows the middle latitudes and polar regions in unprecedented detail. The eye of the Southern polar vortex was found to be a strongly variable feature with complex morphology and dynamics [4]. Solar and stellar occultations give access to a vertical profiling of the light absorption by the aerosols in the upper haze. The aerosol loading in the mesosphere of Venus investigated by SPICAV experiment onboard Venus Express between 2006 and 2010 was highly variable on both short and long time scales. The extinction at a given altitude can vary with a factor of 10 for occultations separated by a few Earth days. The extinction at a given altitude is also significantly lower towards the poles (by a factor 10 at least) compared to the values around the equator, while there is apparently no correlation between the extinction and the latitude in the region comprised between ±40° around the equator [5]. Based on Mie theory and on the observed spectral dependence of light extinction in spectra recorded simultaneously in the UV (SPICAV-UV), in the near IR (SPICAV-IR), and in the short-and midwavelength IR (SPICAV-SOIR), the size distribution of aerosols in the upper haze of Venus was retrieved, assuming H2SO4/water composition of the droplets [6]. The optical model includes H2SO4 concentrations from 60 to 85%. A number of results are strikingly new: (1) an increase of the H2SO4

  2. Venus-Earth-Mars: comparative climatology and the search for life in the solar system.

    PubMed

    Launius, Roger D

    2012-09-19

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans-all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  3. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    PubMed Central

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans—all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a “runaway greenhouse theory,” and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth. PMID:25371106

  4. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-09-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans - all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  5. Chemical reactions between Venus' surface and atmosphere - An update. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treiman, A. H.

    2013-12-01

    The surface of Venus, at ~740K, is hot enough to allow relatively rapid chemical reactions between it and the atmosphere, i.e. weathering. Venus chemical weathering has been explored in detail [1], to the limits of available data. New data from Venus Express (VEx) and new ideas from exoplanets have sparked a modest renewal of interest in Venus weathering. Venus' surface cannot be observed in visible light, but there are several NIR ';windows' through its atmosphere that allow surface imaging. The VIRTIS spectrometer on VEx viewed the surface through one window [2]; emissivity variations among lava flows on Imdr and Themis Regios have been explained as varying degrees of weathering, and thus age [3]. The VMC camera on VEx also provides images through a NIR window, which suggest variable degrees of weathering on some basaltic plains [4]. Indirect evidence for weathering may come from varying SO2 abundance at Venus' cloud tops; repeated rapid increases and gradual declines may represent volcanic eruptions followed by weathering to form sulfate minerals [5]. Continued geochemical modeling relevant to Venus weathering is motivated by expolanet studies [6]. Models have been extended to hypothetical exo-Venuses of different temperatures and surface compositions [7]. The idea that Venus' atmosphere composition can be buffered by reaction with its surface was explored in detail, and the derived constraint extended to other types of planets [8]. Several laboratories are investigating Venus weathering, motivated in part by the hope that they can provide real constraints on timescales of Venus volcanism [3]. Aveline et al. [9] are extending early studies [10] by reacting rocks and minerals with concentrated SO2 (to accelerate reaction rates to allow detectability of products). Kohler et al. [11] are investigating the stability of metals and chalcogenides as possible causes of the low-emissivity surfaces at high elevations. Berger and Aigouy [12] studied rock alteration on a

  6. Little or no solar wind enters Venus' atmosphere at solar minimum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, T L; Delva, M; Baumjohann, W; Auster, H-U; Carr, C; Russell, C T; Barabash, S; Balikhin, M; Kudela, K; Berghofer, G; Biernat, H K; Lammer, H; Lichtenegger, H; Magnes, W; Nakamura, R; Schwingenschuh, K; Volwerk, M; Vörös, Z; Zambelli, W; Fornacon, K-H; Glassmeier, K-H; Richter, I; Balogh, A; Schwarzl, H; Pope, S A; Shi, J K; Wang, C; Motschmann, U; Lebreton, J-P

    2007-11-29

    Venus has no significant internal magnetic field, which allows the solar wind to interact directly with its atmosphere. A field is induced in this interaction, which partially shields the atmosphere, but we have no knowledge of how effective that shield is at solar minimum. (Our current knowledge of the solar wind interaction with Venus is derived from measurements at solar maximum.) The bow shock is close to the planet, meaning that it is possible that some solar wind could be absorbed by the atmosphere and contribute to the evolution of the atmosphere. Here we report magnetic field measurements from the Venus Express spacecraft in the plasma environment surrounding Venus. The bow shock under low solar activity conditions seems to be in the position that would be expected from a complete deflection by a magnetized ionosphere. Therefore little solar wind enters the Venus ionosphere even at solar minimum.

  7. Laying bare Venus' dark secrets

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, D.A.

    1987-10-01

    Ground-based IR observations of the dark side of Venus obtained in 1983 and 1985 with the Anglo-Australian Telescope are studied. An IR spectrum of Venus' dark side is analyzed. It is observed that the Venus atmosphere is composed of CO and radiation escapes only at 1.74 microns and 2.2 to 2.4 microns. The possible origin of the radiation, either due to absorbed sunlight or escaping thermal radiation, was investigated. These two hypotheses were eliminated, and it is proposed that the clouds of Venus are transparent and the radiation originates from the same stratum as the brighter portions but is weakened by the passage through the upper layer. The significance of the observed dark side markings is discussed.

  8. ISS Update: Transit of Venus

    NASA Video Gallery

    ISS Update commentator Brandi Dean interviews Mario Runco, NASA astronaut, about Venus's transit across the sun on June 5, 2012. Questions? Ask us on Twitter @NASA_Johnson and include the hashtag #...

  9. Venus Heat Flow Instrument Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pauken, M.; Smith, K.; Sujittosakul, S.; Li, B.; Firdosy, S.; Smrekar, S.; Morgan, P.

    2016-10-01

    A heat flux measurement instrument is being developed to determine the heat flow through the Venus surface. Heat flow measurement provides data for distinguishing between various hypotheses of planetary evolution.

  10. Prolonged silicon carbide integrated circuit operation in Venus surface atmospheric conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neudeck, Philip G.; Meredith, Roger D.; Chen, Liangyu; Spry, David J.; Nakley, Leah M.; Hunter, Gary W.

    2016-12-01

    The prolonged operation of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) needed for long-duration exploration of the surface of Venus has proven insurmountably challenging to date due to the ˜ 460 °C, ˜ 9.4 MPa caustic environment. Past and planned Venus landers have been limited to a few hours of surface operation, even when IC electronics needed for basic lander operation are protected with heavily cumbersome pressure vessels and cooling measures. Here we demonstrate vastly longer (weeks) electrical operation of two silicon carbide (4H-SiC) junction field effect transistor (JFET) ring oscillator ICs tested with chips directly exposed (no cooling and no protective chip packaging) to a high-fidelity physical and chemical reproduction of Venus' surface atmosphere. This represents more than 100-fold extension of demonstrated Venus environment electronics durability. With further technology maturation, such SiC IC electronics could drastically improve Venus lander designs and mission concepts, fundamentally enabling long-duration enhanced missions to the surface of Venus.

  11. Venus Data Analysis Program: Directory of Research Projects (1993-1994)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This directory provides information about the scientific investigations funded by the NASA Venus Data Analysis Program (VDAP) during fiscal year 1993. The VDAP Directory consists of summary sheets from the proposals that were selected by NASA for funding in FY 93. Each summary sheet indicates the title, principal investigator, institution of the investigation, and information related to the objectives of the research activities proposed for FY 93. The objective of the VDAP Program is to advance our understanding of the nature and evolution of Venus. VDAP supports scientific investigation using data obtained from the Magellan, Pioneer Venus, and other Venus missions, as well as earth-based observations that contribute to understanding the physical and evolutionary properties of Venus. The program intends to enhance the scientific return from these missions by broadening the participation in the analysis of Venus data. Categories of research funded by VDAP are atmosphere, ionosphere, geology, geophysics, and mapping. The directory is intended to provide the science community with an overview of the research projects supported by this program. Research activities identified in this directory were selected for funding in FY 93 on the basis of scientific peer review conducted by the VDAP Review Panel.

  12. Venus Data Analysis Program: Directory of Research Projects (1993-1994)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    This directory provides information about the scientific investigations funded by the NASA Venus Data Analysis Program (VDAP) during fiscal year 1993. The VDAP Directory consists of summary sheets from the proposals that were selected by NASA for funding in FY 93. Each summary sheet indicates the title, principal investigator, institution of the investigation, and information related to the objectives of the research activities proposed for FY 93. The objective of the VDAP Program is to advance our understanding of the nature and evolution of Venus. VDAP supports scientific investigation using data obtained from the Magellan, Pioneer Venus, and other Venus missions, as well as earth-based observations that contribute to understanding the physical and evolutionary properties of Venus. The program intends to enhance the scientific return from these missions by broadening the participation in the analysis of Venus data. Categories of research funded by VDAP are atmosphere, ionosphere, geology, geophysics, and mapping. The directory is intended to provide the science community with an overview of the research projects supported by this program. Research activities identified in this directory were selected for funding in FY 93 on the basis of scientific peer review conducted by the VDAP Review Panel.

  13. Short Large-Amplitude Magnetic Structures (SLAMS) at Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collinson, G. A.; Wilson, L. B.; Sibeck, D. G.; Shane, N.; Zhang, T. L.; Moore, T. E.; Coates, A. J.; Barabash, S.

    2012-01-01

    We present the first observation of magnetic fluctuations consistent with Short Large-Amplitude Magnetic Structures (SLAMS) in the foreshock of the planet Venus. Three monolithic magnetic field spikes were observed by the Venus Express on the 11th of April 2009. The structures were approx.1.5->11s in duration, had magnetic compression ratios between approx.3->6, and exhibited elliptical polarization. These characteristics are consistent with the SLAMS observed at Earth, Jupiter, and Comet Giacobini-Zinner, and thus we hypothesize that it is possible SLAMS may be found at any celestial body with a foreshock.

  14. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter: 11 years of data. A laboratory for atmospheres seminar talk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasprzak, W. T.

    1990-01-01

    The Pioneer Venus Orbiter has been in operation since orbit insertion on December 4, 1978. For the past 11 years, it has been acquiring data in the salient features of the planet, its atmosphere, ionosphere, and interaction with the solar wind. A few of the results of this mission are summarized and their contribution to our general understanding of the planet Venus is discussed. Although Earth and Venus are often called twin planets, they are only superficially similar. Possessing no obvious evidence of plate tectonics, lacking water and an intrinsic magnetic field, and having a hot, dense carbon dioxide atmosphere with sulfuric acid clouds makes Venus a unique object of study by the Orbiter's instruments.

  15. The International VEGA "Venus-Halley" (1984-1986) Experiment: Description and Scientific Objectives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The Venus-Halley (Vega) project will provide a unique opportunity to combine a mission over Venus with a transfer flight to Halley's comet. This project is based on three research goals: (1) to study the surface of Venus; (2) to study the air circulation on Venus and its meteorological parameters; and (3) to study Halley's comet. The objective of the study of Halley's comet is to: determine the physical characteristics of its nucleus; define the structure and dynamics of the coma around the nucleus; define the gas composition near the nucleus; investigate the dust particle distribution as a function of mass at various distances from the nucleus; and investigate the solar wind interaction with the atmosphere and ionosphere of the comet.

  16. Global mapping strategies for a synthetic aperture radar system in orbit about Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerridge, S. J.

    1980-01-01

    An analysis of the global mapping of Venus using a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is presented. The geometry of the side-looking radar, the narrow swath width, and the slow rotation of Venus combine to constrain the methods required to produce such a map within the primary mapping mission of 121.5 days. Parametric studies indicate that multiple strategies can satisfy the requirements of the mission with reasonable assumptions for the total recording capacity, the downlink data rate, and the operating time of the SAR on each revolution.

  17. Geologic Map of the Helen Planitia Quadrangle (V-52), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lopez, Ivan; Hansen, Vicki L.

    2008-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan Mission objectives included (1) improving the knowledge of the geological processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Helen Planitia quadrangle (V-52), located in the southern hemisphere of Venus between lat 25 deg S. and 50 deg S. and between long 240 deg E. and 270 deg E., covers approximately 8,000,000 km2. Regionally, the map area is located at the southern limit of an area of enhanced tectonomagmatic activity and extensional deformation, marked by a triangle that has highland apexes at Beta, Atla, and Themis Regiones (BAT anomaly) and is connected by the large extensional belts of Devana, Hecate, and Parga Chasmata. The BAT anomaly covers approximately 20 percent of the Venusian surface.

  18. The abundance of sulfur dioxide below the clouds of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bezard, Bruno; De Bergh, Catherine; Fegley, Bruce; Maillard, Jean-Pierre; Crisp, David; Owen, Tobias; Pollack, James B.; Grinspoon, David

    1993-01-01

    We present a new method for determining the abundance of sulfur dioxide below the clouds of Venus. Absorption by the 3nu3 band of SO2 near 2.45 microns has been detected in high-resolution spectra of the night side of Venus recorded at the Canada-France Hawaii telescope in 1989 and 1991. The inferred SO2 abundance is 130 +/- 40 ppm at all observed locations and pertains to the 35-45 km region. These values are comparable to those measured by the Pioneer Venus and Venera 11/12 entry probes in 1978. This stability stands in contrast to the apparent massive decrease in SO2 observed at the cloud tops since these space missions. These results are consistent with laboratory and modeling studies of the SO2 destruction rates in the lower atmosphere of Venus. The new spectroscopic technique presented here allows a remote monitoring of the SO2 abundance below the clouds, a likely tracer of Venusian volcanism.

  19. Crustal deformation: Earth vs Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turcotte, D. L.

    1989-01-01

    It is timely to consider the possible tectonic regimes on Venus both in terms of what is known about Venus and in terms of deformation mechanisms operative on the earth. Plate tectonic phenomena dominate tectonics on the earth. Horizontal displacements are associated with the creation of new crust at ridges and destruction of crust at trenches. The presence of plate tectonics on Venus is debated, but there is certainly no evidence for the trenches associated with subduction on the earth. An essential question is what kind of tectonics can be expected if there is no plate tectonics on Venus. Mars and the Moon are reference examples. Volcanic constructs appear to play a dominant role on Mars but their role on Venus is not clear. On single plate planets and satellites, tectonic structures are often associated with thermal stresses. Cooling of a planet leads to thermal contraction and surface compressive features. Delamination has been propsed for Venus by several authors. Delamination is associated with the subduction of the mantle lithosphere and possibly the lower crust but not the upper crust. The surface manifestations of delamination are unclear. There is some evidence that delamination is occurring beneath the Transverse Ranges in California. Delamination will certainly lead to lithospheric thinning and is likely to lead to uplift and crustal thinning.

  20. The stability of oxyamphiboles: Existence of Ferric-bearing minerals under the reducing conditions on the surface of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Straub, Darcy W.; Burns, Roger G.

    1993-01-01

    An enigma of Venusian mineralogy is the suggestion that Fe(3+)-bearing minerals exist under the reducing conditions of the Venusian atmosphere. Analysis of the spectrophotometric data from the Venera 13 and 14 missions, combined with the laboratory reflectance spectral measurements of oxidized basalts at elevated temperatures, led to the suggestion that metastable hematite might exist on Venus. Heating experiments at 475 C when f(sub O2) approximately 10(exp -24) demonstrated that the hematite to magnetite conversion is rapid indicating metastable hematite is not present on Venus. In addition to hematite, several other ferric oxide and silicate minerals have been proposed to occur on Venus, including laihunite or ferrifayalite, Fe(3+)-bearing tephroite, oxyamphiboles, and oxybiotites. Heating experiments performed on these Fe(3+)-bearing minerals under temperature-f(sub O2) conditions existing on Venus suggest that only oxyamphiboles and oxybiotites may be stable on the surface of Venus.

  1. Venus - First Radar Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    After traveling more than 1.5 billion kilometers (948 million miles), the Magellan spacecraft was inserted into orbit around Venus on Aug. 10, 1990. This mosaic consists of adjacent pieces of two Magellan image strips obtained on Aug. 16 in the first radar test. The radar test was part of a planned In Orbit Checkout sequence designed to prepare the Magellan spacecraft and radar to begin mapping after Aug. 31. The strip on the left was returned to the Goldstone Deep Space Network station in California; the strip to the right was received at the DSN in Canberra, Australia. A third station that will be receiving Magellan data is located near Madrid, Spain. Each image strip is 20 km (12 miles) wide and 16,000 km (10,000 miles) long. This mosaic is a small portion 80 km (50 miles) long. This image is centered at 21 degrees north latitude and 286.8 degrees east longitude, southeast of a volcanic highland region called Beta Regio. The resolution of the image is about 120 meters (400 feet), 10 times better than previous images of the same area of Venus, revealing many new geologic features. The bright line trending northwest southeast across the center of the image is a fracture or fault zone cutting the volcanic plains. In the upper left corner of the image, a multiple ring circular feature of probable volcanic origin can be seen, approximately 4.27 km (2.65 miles) across. The bright and dark variations seen in the plains surrounding these features correspond to volcanic lava flows of varying ages. The volcanic lava flows in the southern half of the image have been cut by north south trending faults. This area is similar geologically to volcanic deposits seen on Earth at Hawaii and the Snake River Plains in Idaho.

  2. The spatial distribution of coronae on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.; Schubert, G.; Bindschadler, D. L.; Janes, D. M.; Moersch, J. E.; Moore, W.; Olson, P.; Ratcliff, J. T.; Stofan, E. R.; Turcotte, D. L.

    1992-01-01

    Coronae on Venus are large, generally circular surface features that have distinctive tectonic, volcanic, and topographic expressions. They range in diameter from less than 200 km to at least 1000 km. Data from the Magellan spacecraft have now allowed complete global mapping of the spatial distribution of coronae on the planet. Unlike impact craters, which show a random (i.e., Poisson) spatial distribution, the distribution of coronae appears to be nonrandom. We investigate the distribution here in detail, and explore its implications in terms of mantle convection and surface modification processes.

  3. Mars Express - ESA sets ambitious goals for the first European mission to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-05-01

    Mars has always fascinated human beings. No other planet has been visited so many times by spacecraft. And still, it has not been easy to unveil its secrets. Martian mysteries seem to have increased in quantity and complexity with every mission. When the first spacecraft were sent - the Mariner series in 1960s - the public was expecting an Earth ‘twin’, a green, inhabited planet full of oceans. Mariner shattered this dream by showing a barren surface. This was followed by the Viking probes which searched for life unsuccessfully in 1976. Mars appeared dry, cold and uninhabited: the Earth’s opposite. Now, two decades later, modern spacecraft have changed that view, but they have also returned more questions. Current data show that Mars was probably much warmer in the past. Scientists now think that Mars had oceans, so it could have been a suitable place for life in the past. “We do not know what happened to the planet in the past. Which process turned Mars into the dry, cold world we see today?” says Agustin Chicarro, ESA’s Mars Express project scientist. “With Mars Express, we will find out. Above all, we aim to obtain a complete global view of the planet - its history, its geology, how it has evolved. Real planetology!” Mars Express will reach the Red Planet by the end of December 2003, after a trip of just over six months. Six days before injection into its final orbit, Mars Express will eject the lander, Beagle 2, named after the ship on which Charles Darwin found inspiration to formulate his theory of evolution. The Mars Express orbiter will observe the planet and its atmosphere from a near-polar orbit, and will remain in operation for at least a whole Martian year (687 Earth days). Beagle 2 will land in an equatorial region that was probably flooded in the past, and where traces of life may have been preserved. The Mars Express orbiter carries seven advanced experiments, in addition to the Beagle 2 lander. The orbiter’s instruments have been

  4. Storms on Venus: Lightning-induced chemistry and predicted products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delitsky, M. L.; Baines, K. H.

    2015-08-01

    Observations by many spacecraft that have visited Venus over the last 40 years appear to confirm the presence of lightning storms in the Venus atmosphere. Recent observations by Venus Express indicate that lightning frequency and power is similar to that on Earth. While storms are occurring, energy deposition by lightning into Venus atmospheric constituents will immediately dissociate molecules into atoms, ions and plasma from the high temperatures in the lightning column (>30,000 K) and the associated shock waves and heating, after which these atom and ion fragments of C,O,S,N,H-containing molecules will recombine during cooldown to form new sets of molecules. Spark and discharge experiments in the literature suggest that lightning effects on the main atmospheric molecules CO2, N2, SO2, H2SO4 and H2O will yield carbon oxides and suboxides (COm, CnOm), sulfur oxides (SnO, SnOm), oxygen (O2), elemental sulfur (Sn), nitrogen oxides (NO, N2O, NO2), sulfuric acid clusters (HnSmOx-.aHnSmOx e.g. HSO4-.mH2SO4), polysulfur oxides, carbon soot and other exotic species. While the amounts generated in lightning storms would be much less than that derived from photochemistry, during storms these species can build up in a small area and so their local concentrations may increase significantly. For a storm of 100×100 km, the increase could be ~5 orders of magnitude if they remain in the storm region for a period before becoming well-mixed. Some of these molecular species may be detectable by instruments onboard Venus Express while they are concentrated in the storm regions. We explore the diversity of new products likely created in lightning storms on Venus.

  5. Systems design study of the Pioneer Venus spacecraft. Appendices to volume 1, sections 3-6 (part 1 of 3). [design of Venus probe windows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The design is described of the Venus probe windows, which are required to measure solar flux, infrared flux, aureole, and cloud particles. Window heating and structural materials for the probe window assemblies are discussed along with the magnetometer. The command lists for science, power and communication requirements, telemetry sign characteristics, mission profile summary, mass properties of payloads, and failure modes are presented.

  6. Stagnation Point Radiative Heating Relations for Venus Entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tauber, Michael E.; Palmer, Grant E.; Prabhu, Dinesh K.

    2012-01-01

    Improved analytic expressions for calculating the stagnation point radiative heating during entry into the atmosphere of Venus have been developed. These analytic expressions can be incorporated into entry trajectory simulation codes. Together with analytical expressions for convective heating at the stagnation point, the time-integrated total heat load at the stagnation point is used in determining the thickness of protective material required, and hence the mass of the fore body heatshield of uniform thickness.

  7. Transits Of Venus: 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, And 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.

    2012-01-01

    Transits of Venus are exceedingly rare predictable astronomical events, with only six having been observed since Jeremiah Horrox corrected Johannes Kepler's Rudolphine Tables and observed the transit of 1639. Edmond Halley's 1716 method of finding the size and scale of the Solar System and thus of the Universe led to hundreds of 18th-century and 19th-century transit-of-Venus expeditions for each event. I discuss the history and importance of the transit observations, and how spacecraft observations of the 1999 transit of Mercury, repeated at the 2003 and 2006 transits, led to the solution of the black-drop effect problem that had prevented Halley's method from reaching its desired accuracy and thus solution of the noble problem of astronomy to find the size and scale of the solar system. Other spacecraft observations of the 2004 transit of Venus have led to an analysis of how Venus's atmosphere becomes visible for about 25 minutes before second contact and after third contact, and links with prior historical claims, mostly invalid, to have discovered Venus's atmosphere at transits. Total-solar-irradiance spacecraft observations at the 2004 Venus transit link to exoplanet discoveries with NASA's aptly named Kepler Mission and ESA's CoRoT. I further link previous transit observations to planned observations for the June 5/6, 2012, Venus transit and the May 9, 2016, Mercury transit, together providing a historical basis for 22nd-century astronomers preparing to observe the December 10, 2117, Venus transit. My observations at the 2004 and 2012 transits of Venus were and will be supported in large part by grants from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society. My solar observations were supported in part by NASA grant NNG04GK44G for work with the TRACE spacecraft and NASA Marshall grant NNX10AK47A and planetary work supported in part by NNX08AO50G from NASA Planetary Astronomy.

  8. A Venus Rover Capable of Long Life Surface Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M.; Shirley, J. H.; Abelson, R. D.

    2005-12-01

    Access to the surface of Venus would allow planetary scientists to address a number of currently open questions. Among these are the elemental and mineralogical composition of the surface; the interaction of the surface with the atmosphere; the atmospheric composition, especially isotope ratios of key species; the nature of the planetary volcanism (present activity, emissions to the atmosphere, and composition); planetary seismicity; the local surface meteorology (winds and pressure variability); and the surface geology and morphology at particular locations on the surface. A long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by utilizing a novel Stirling engine system for both cooling and electric power. Previous missions to the Venus surface, including the Pioneer Venus and Venera missions, survived for only a few hours. The rover concept described in the present study is designed for a surface lifetime of 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A Thermo-Acoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) would convert the high-temperature (~1200 °C) heat from General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules into acoustic power which then drives a linear alternator and a pulse tube cooler to provide electric power and remove the large environmental heat load. The "cold" side of the engine would be furnished by the ambient atmosphere at 460 °C. This short study focused on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment to power a ~650 kg rover that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements. The instrument suite would collect data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE below 50 °C. No

  9. Volcanic lightning on Venus and early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airey, Martin; Aplin, Karen

    2016-04-01

    Lightning may have been crucial in the development of life, as it enables key chemical reactions to occur. We cannot directly observe early Earth's hot, CO2-rich, atmosphere; however, similar conditions exist today on Venus, where there may be volcanic and/or meteorological lightning. Recent observations made by ESA's Venus Express satellite have provided evidence for active volcanism [1-3] and lightning discharges [e.g. 4], which may be volcanic in origin. This study uses laboratory experiments to simulate ash generation and to measure its electrical charging under typical atmospheric conditions for Venus and the early Earth (specifically the Hadean eon, up to 4 billion years ago, and the Archean eon, from 4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago). Ultimately the work will address the following questions: (a) is volcanic activity a feasible mechanism for lightning generation on Venus and early Earth, (b) how would these extreme paleo-environmental conditions affect lightning, (c) can the similarities in atmospheric conditions inform us of planetary evolutionary concepts, (d) could volcanic lightning have been important in the emergence of life on Earth, and (e) what are the wider implications for the likelihood of the emergence of life on other planets? A 1-litre atmospheric simulation chamber will be used to simulate the high-pressure, high-temperature, CO2-dominated atmospheres of the surface of early Earth, and Venus at ~10 km altitude (~5 MPa, 650 K) (where ash plume-forming eruptions on Venus are more likely to occur [5]). The chamber contains temperature/pressure monitoring and logging equipment, a collision apparatus to generate the charged rock fragments, and electrodes for charge measurement with an electrometer [6]. The planned experimental programme will measure the effects of varying temperature, pressure, atmospheric, and sample composition under a range of conditions appropriate to Venus and early Earth. Comparative work with present day Earth conditions

  10. Temperature and Wind Measurements in Venus Lower Thermosphere between 2007 and 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, Pia; Sornig, Manuela; Wischnewski, Carolin; Sonnabend, Guido; Stangier, Tobias; Herrmann, Maren; Kostiuk, Theodor; Livengood, Timothy A.; Pätzold, Martin

    2016-10-01

    The structure of Venus atmosphere and its thermal and dynamical behavior was intensely studied during the past decade by groundbased and the space mission Venus Express. A comprehensive understanding of the atmosphere, however, is still missing. Direct measurements of atmospheric parameters on various time scales and at different locations across the planet are essential for better understanding and to validate global circulation models. Line-resolved spectroscopy of infrared CO2 transitions provides a powerful tool to accomplish measurements of temperature and wind speed within the neutral atmosphere, using Doppler line-broadening and Doppler shift. Temperature is the motor to drive circulation, and wind speed is the result. Measuring both provides both the basis and an empirical test for circulation models. Non-LTE emission lines at 10 µm that originate from a pressure level of 1μbar, ~110 km altitude, probe the lower thermosphere and are measurable at high spectral resolution using the infrared heterodyne spectrometers THIS (University of Cologne), HIPWAC (NASA GSFC) and MILAHI (Tohoku University).Thermal and dynamical structures on the Venus day side are retrieved using a newly developed method that considers the influence of the spectrometer field-of-view (FoV) and the dispersion of spectral properties across the FoV. New conclusions from the ground-based observing campaigns between 2007 and 2015 will be presented based on this retrieval methodology. The spatial resolution on the planetary disk is different for each campaign, depending on the apparent diameter of the planet and the diffraction-limited FoV of the telescope. Previously, a comparison of the observing campaigns was limited due to the difference in spatial resolution. The new retrieval method enables comparing observations with different observing geometry. The observations yield a large quantity of temperature and wind measurements at different positions on the planetary disk, which supports

  11. Pioneer Venus large probe neutral mass spectrometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, J.

    1982-01-01

    The deuterium hydrogen abundance ratio in the Venus atmosphere was measured while the inlets to the Pioneer Venus large probe mass spectrometer were coated with sulfuric acid from Venus' clouds. The ratio is (1.6 + or - 0.2) x 10 to the minus two power. It was found that the 100 fold enrichment of deuterium means that Venus outgassed at least 0.3% of a terrestrial ocean and possibly more.

  12. Imaging of Mercury and Venus from a flyby

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, B.C.; Belton, M.J.S.; Edward, Danielson G.; Davies, M.E.; Kuiper, G.P.; O'Leary, B. T.; Suomi, V.E.; Trask, N.J.

    1971-01-01

    This paper describes the results of study of an imaging experiment planned for the 1973 Mariner Venus/Mercury flyby mission. Scientific objectives, mission constraints, analysis of alternative systems, and the rationale for final choice are presented. Severe financial constraints ruled out the best technical alternative for flyby imaging, a film/readout system, or even significant re-design of previous Mariner vidicon camera/tape recorder systems. The final selection was a vidicon camera quite similar to that used for Mariner Mars 1971, but with the capability of real time transmission during the Venus and Mercury flybys. Real time data return became possible through dramatic increase in the communications bandwidth at only modest sacrifice in the quality of the returned pictures. Two identical long focal length cameras (1500 mm) were selected and it will be possible to return several thousand pictures from both planets at resolutions ranging from equivalent to Earthbased to tenths of a kilometer at encounter. Systematic high resolution ultraviolet photography of Venus is planned after encounter in an attempt to understand the nature of the mysterious ultraviolet markings and their apparent 4- to 5-day rotation period. Full disk coverage in mosaics will produce pictures of both planets similar in quality to Earthbased telescopic pictures of the Moon. The increase of resolution, more than three orders of magnitude, will yield an exciting first look at two planets whose closeup appearance is unknown. ?? 1971.

  13. Hot-spot tectonics of Eistla Regio, Venus: Results from Magellan images and Pioneer Venus gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimm, Robert E.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-06-01

    Eistla Regio (ER) is a broad, low, discontinuous topographic rise striking roughly EW at low northern latitudes of Venus. Some 2000 x 7000 km in dimensions, it is the third largest rise in planform on Venus after Aphrodite Terra and Beta Phoebe Regiones. These rises are the key physiographic elements in a hot spot model of global tectonics including transient plume behavior. Since ER is the first such rise viewed by Magellan and the latitude is very favorable for Pioneer Venus gravity studies, some of the predictions of a time dependent hot spot model are tested. Western ER is defined as the rise including Gula and Sif Mons and central ER as that including Sappho Patera. Superior conjunction prevented Magellan from returning data on eastern ER (Pavlova) during the first mapping cycle. It is concluded that the western and central portions of ER, while part of the same broad topographic rise and tectonic framework, have distinctly different surface ages and gravity signatures. The western rise, including Gula and Sif Mons, is the expression of deep seated uplift with volcanism limited to the individual large shields. The eastern portion has been widely resurfaced more recently by thermal anomalies in the mantle.

  14. Hot-spot tectonics of Eistla Regio, Venus: Results from Magellan images and Pioneer Venus gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grimm, Robert E.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

    Eistla Regio (ER) is a broad, low, discontinuous topographic rise striking roughly EW at low northern latitudes of Venus. Some 2000 x 7000 km in dimensions, it is the third largest rise in planform on Venus after Aphrodite Terra and Beta Phoebe Regiones. These rises are the key physiographic elements in a hot spot model of global tectonics including transient plume behavior. Since ER is the first such rise viewed by Magellan and the latitude is very favorable for Pioneer Venus gravity studies, some of the predictions of a time dependent hot spot model are tested. Western ER is defined as the rise including Gula and Sif Mons and central ER as that including Sappho Patera. Superior conjunction prevented Magellan from returning data on eastern ER (Pavlova) during the first mapping cycle. It is concluded that the western and central portions of ER, while part of the same broad topographic rise and tectonic framework, have distinctly different surface ages and gravity signatures. The western rise, including Gula and Sif Mons, is the expression of deep seated uplift with volcanism limited to the individual large shields. The eastern portion has been widely resurfaced more recently by thermal anomalies in the mantle.

  15. An Exo-Venus in the Solar Neighborhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-04-01

    because its cooler host emits more light at lower frequencies than the Sun.Kepler-1649b may be subject to larger tidal effects from its host star. Because it orbits so close in, it might experience tidal heating, synchronous rotation, and tidal locking all of which can influence its seasons and geologic activity.Target for the FutureThe colored contours show the most likely radius and incident flux measured for Kepler-1649b. Earth, Venus, Mars, and several other exoplanets are plotted for comparison. [Angelo et al. 2017]In spite of these differences, Kepler-1649b still qualifies asthe most similarexoplanet weve found to Venus in terms of its size and incident radiation. This marks our first opportunity to study such a target to understand how it differs from Earth-like planets and what conditions might lead to habitability on a planet.We will be able to gain more information on Kepler-1649b with upcoming missions. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will observe more transits, and Gaias improved-accuracy distance measurements should also improve our measurements of the stars and planets properties. Whats more, Kepler-1649b will make an excellent target for the James Webb Space Telescope (launching in 2018) to examine in the hopes of learning about its atmosphere.CitationIsabel Angelo et al 2017 AJ 153 162. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa615f

  16. The result of Venus Orbit Insertion of Akatsuki on December 7th, 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugiyama, K. I.; Nakamura, M.; Imamura, T.; Ishii, N.; Abe, T.; Kawakatsu, Y.; Hirose, C.; Satoh, T.; Suzuki, M.; Ueno, M.; Yamazaki, A.; Iwagami, N.; Watanabe, S.; Taguchi, M.; Fukuhara, T.; Takahashi, Y.; Yamada, M.; Imai, M.; Ohtsuki, S.; Uemizu, K.; Hashimoto, G. L.; Takagi, M.; Matsuda, Y.; Ogohara, K.; Sato, N.; Kasaba, Y.; Kouyama, T.; Hirata, N.; Nakamura, R.; Yamamoto, Y.; Horinouchi, T.; Yamamoto, M.; Hayashi, Y. Y.; Nakatsuka, J.; Kashimura, H.; Sakanoi, T.; Ando, H.; Murakami, S. Y.; Sato, T.; Takagi, S.; Nakajima, K.; Peralta, J.; Lee, Y. J.

    2015-12-01

    Japan launched Venus Climate Orbiter 'Akatsuki' (JAXA's mission code name: PLANET-C) to observe the dynamics of the Venus atmosphere globally and clarify the mechanism of the atmospheric circulation. The launch was on May 21st , 2010 from the Tanegashima Space Center. The cruise to Venus was smooth, however, the first Venus Orbit Insertion (VOI) trial on December 7th, 2010 tuned out to be a failure. Later Akatsuki has been orbiting the sun. Fortunately we keep the spacecraft in a healthy condition and surprisingly we have found another chance to let this spacecraft to meet Venus in 2015. Next VOI trial will be done on December 7th, 2015 and we report the result of this operation at this AGU meeting. This mission is planed to answer the question described below. The radius of the Earth and Venus are almost the same. In addition the radiation from the sun is also almost the same. The climates of these planets, however, are much different. For example, the strong zonal wind is observed on Venus with the period of 4 days, where Venus rotates westward with the period of 243 days. The wind speed is about 100 m s-1. This is called super rotation. We will investigate from data from Akatsuki what attributes to the difference of the climates between Earth and Venus. AKATSUKI was designed for remote sensing from an equatorial, elliptical orbit to tract the atmospheric motion at different altitudes using 5 cameras (3xIR, UV, Visible) and by the radio occultation technique. The first VOI has failed due to a malfunction of the propulsion system. The check valve between the helium tank and the fuel tank was blocked by an unexpected salt formation during the cruising from the Earth to Venus. As a result the main engine (orbital maneuvering engine, OME) became oxidizer-rich and fuel-poor condition, which led to an abnormal combustion in the engine with high temperature, and finally the engine was broken. We decide to use RCS thrusters for Trajectory Control Maneuvers' (TCMs) and

  17. Electrical memory in Venus flytrap.

    PubMed

    Volkov, Alexander G; Carrell, Holly; Baldwin, Andrew; Markin, Vladislav S

    2009-06-01

    Electrical signaling, memory and rapid closure of the carnivorous plant Dionaea muscipula Ellis (Venus flytrap) have been attracting the attention of researchers since the XIX century. The electrical stimulus between a midrib and a lobe closes the Venus flytrap upper leaf in 0.3 s without mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs. Here we developed a new method for direct measurements of the exact electrical charge utilized by the D. muscipula Ellis to facilitate the trap closing and investigated electrical short memory in the Venus flytrap. As soon as the 8 microC charge for a small trap or a 9 microC charge for a large trap is transmitted between a lobe and midrib from the external capacitor, the trap starts to close at room temperature. At temperatures 28-36 degrees C a smaller electrical charge of 4.1 microC is required to close the trap of the D. muscipula. The cumulative character of electrical stimuli points to the existence of short-term electrical memory in the Venus flytrap. We also found sensory memory in the Venus flytrap. When one sustained mechanical stimulus was applied to only one trigger hair, the trap closed in a few seconds.

  18. The Soviet maps of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, D. F.

    1990-02-01

    The USSR began mapping parts of Venus almost six years ago and have published a series of scientific results, reaching a few limited conclusions about Venus. While based on the traditional second generation Venera orbiter design, Veneras 15 and 16 carried Polyus-V sidelooking synthetic-aperture radars which used the orbiter's motion over Venus to 'synthesize' an antenna of far larger size than could practically be carried to the planet. The resolution and coverage achieved is better than one kilometer over most of the surface compared with one tenth of a kilometer partial cover expected from the Venus Radar Mapper. The radar data will take years to analyze completely, but initial results have been released and the Soviet Union has compiled an atlas of radar images. Cartographers named two craters after American astronauts Judith Resnik and Sharon Christa McAuliffe. One of the conclusions is that Venus is not a 'single plate' planet, like the earth's moon or Mercury; its crust is distinctly broken into individual blocks with independent movements. It appears that extensive volcanism is a universal factor in the evolution of planets in the inner solar system.

  19. Particulate gravity currents on Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waltham, Dave; Pickering, Kevin T.; Bray, Veronica J.

    2008-02-01

    Canali are moderately sinuous channels, typically a few kilometers wide and hundreds of kilometers long, that occur principally on the plains of Venus. Plausible hypotheses for their formation include the following: open channels cut by exotic, low-viscosity lavas; roofed-over basaltic lava channels; or water on a cooler, wetter ancient Venus. Although it is accepted that a fluid cut these channels, none of these hypotheses are entirely satisfactory. It is therefore prudent to investigate other explanations. A particulate gravity current is a rapidly moving, sediment-laden flow that moves downslope as a result of its high density compared to the ambient fluid. This high density is produced by suspension of dense particles in a lower-density fluid. As these flows are largely driven by slope, rather than by momentum, they are potentially capable of traveling great distances, producing extensive channel systems. We apply this process to Venus, exploring its channel-forming potential via mathematical modeling and morphological comparison of submarine channels on Earth to canali on Venus. Results of our modeling show that atmospheric particulate gravity currents are physically and geologically plausible on Venus. The potential of this process to form channels of great length is such that particulate gravity currents can be considered as an alternate explanation for canali genesis.

  20. Episodic plate tectonics on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turcotte, Donald

    1992-01-01

    Studies of impact craters on Venus from the Magellan images have placed important constraints on surface volcanism. Some 840 impact craters have been identified with diameters ranging from 2 to 280 km. Correlations of this impact flux with craters on the Moon, Earth, and Mars indicate a mean surface age of 0.5 +/- 0.3 Ga. Another important observation is that 52 percent of the craters are slightly fractured and only 4.5 percent are embayed by lava flows. These observations led researchers to hypothesize that a pervasive resurfacing event occurred about 500 m.y. ago and that relatively little surface volcanism has occurred since. Other researchers have pointed out that a global resurfacing event that ceased about 500 MYBP is consistent with the results given by a recent study. These authors carried out a series of numerical calculations of mantle convection in Venus yielding thermal evolution results. Their model considered crustal recycling and gave rapid planetary cooling. They, in fact, suggested that prior to 500 MYBP plate tectonics was active in Venus and since 500 MYBP the lithosphere has stabilized and only hot-spot volcanism has reached the surface. We propose an alternative hypothesis for the inferred cessation of surface volcanism on Venus. We hypothesize that plate tectonics on Venus is episodic. Periods of rapid plate tectonics result in high rates of subduction that cool the interior resulting in more sluggish mantle convection.

  1. Mars Simulation Chamber 1 - preparation for Mars Express and future Mars missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; ten Kate, I. L.; Ruiterkamp, R.; Botta, O.; Lehmann, B.; Boudin, N.; Foing, B. H.

    2003-04-01

    We have installed at ESTEC and instrumented a Mars Simulation Chamber (MSC), in order to answer a range of questions on the subject of the apparent absence of organic compounds on Mars. We shall investigate: A. The effects of the changes of the Martian atmosphere over the history of Mars. B. The effect of UV irradiation on organic molecules embedded in the soil. C. The effect of oxidation on organic molecules embedded in the soil. D. The effect of thermal cycling on the surface. E. A combination of the above mentioned parameters. Techniques to be used include gas analysis, environmental sensors, HPLC, spectroscopy and other analytical techniques. We shall also assess the sensitivity of instruments for the detection of minerals and organic compounds of exobiological relevance in Martian analogue soils (mixed under controlled conditions with traces of these organics). The results concerning the simulation of complex organics on Mars, as well as lander instrument chamber simulations will be included in a database to serve for the interpretation of Beagle 2 data and other future Mars missions. The results of the experiments can also provide constraints for the observations from orbit, such as spectroscopy of minerals, measurements of the water cycle, frost and subsurface water, the CO2 cycle, and the landing site selection. In summary, the experiments have as a main goal to simulate various processes on organics, such as the effects of UV radiation, diffusion, and temperature, as a function of their depth in the soil. The specific organics will be embedded in either porous or compact Martian soil analogues or quartz beads. In this presentation we will concentrate on the preparation for Mars Express.

  2. Venus - Alpha Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    The eastern edge of Alpha Regio is shown in this image centered at 30 degrees south latitude and 11.8 degrees east longitude (longitude on Venus is measured from 0 degrees to 360 degrees east). Seven circular, dome-like hills, averaging 25 kilometers (15 miles) in diameter with maximum heights of 750 meters (2,475 feet) dominate the scene. These features are interpreted as very thick lava flows that came from an opening on the relatively level ground, which allowed the lava to flow in an even pattern outward from the opening. The complex fractures on top of the domes suggest that if the domes were created by lava flows, a cooled outer layer formed and then further lava flowing in the interior stretched the surface. The domes may be similar to volcanic domes on Earth. Another interpretation is that the domes are the result of molten rock or magma in the interior that pushed the surface layer upward. The near-surface magma then withdrew to deeper levels, causing the collapse and fracturing of the dome surface. The bright margins possibly indicate the presence of rock debris on the slopes of the domes. Some of the fractures on the plains cut through the domes, while others appear to be covered by the domes. This indicates that active processes pre date and post date the dome-like hills. The prominent black area in the northeast corner of the image is a data gap. North is at the top of the image.

  3. Exploring the interior structure of Venus with balloons and satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mimoun, David; Cutts, Jim; Stevenson, Dave

    2015-04-01

    , describing the findings of a workshop, sponsored by the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS), concludes that seismic investigations can be successfully conducted from all three vantage points - surface, middle atmosphere and space; these three vantage points being complementary in the information they provide. These novel techniques open a new window for the exploration of the interior structure of Venus, and enables a roadmap leading to a dedicated geophysical mission to our sister planet.

  4. Atmospheric braking to circularize an elliptical Venus orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcronald, A. D.; Nock, K. T.

    1977-01-01

    The use of atmospheric drag to circularize an elliptical spacecraft orbit at Venus is analyzed parametrically for the Venus Orbital Imaging Radar Mission (VOIR) in 1983. Navigation, maneuver, and guidance requirements are discussed for the decay of a 24-hr orbit to a close circular orbit in about 30-60 days. A prototype 'Aerobrake' is described which is approximately 5 m in diameter and 25 kg in mass and which replaces a chemical retroengine of about 1300 kg in mass (delta V = 2.5 km/s) by a 700 kg in-orbit mass. The aerobrake, a light deployable Inconel sheet, shields the spacecraft from the flow and radiates the aerodynamic heating.

  5. The thermal balance of the atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomasko, M. G.; Boese, R.; Pollack, J. B.; Seiff, A.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Lacis, A. A.; Limaye, S. S.; Suomi, V. E.; Stewart, A. I.; Taylor, F. W.

    1977-01-01

    Current knowledge of the temperature structure of the atmosphere of Venus is briefly summarized. The principal features to be explained are the high surface temperature, the small horizontal temperature contrasts near the cloud tops in the presence of strong apparent motions, and the low value of the exospheric temperature. In order to understand the role of radiative and dynamical processes in maintaining the thermal balance of the atmosphere, a great deal of additional data on the global temperature structure, solar and thermal radiation fields, structure and optical properties of the clouds, and circulation of the atmosphere are needed. The ability of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Multiprobe Missions to provide these data is indicated.

  6. Pioneer Venus infrared radiometer - Design, implementation and preliminary results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martonchik, J. V.; Taylor, F. W.

    1979-01-01

    The paper discusses the Pioneer Venus infrared radiometer design and operation. Its main function is to measure the thermal emission from the atmosphere at seven pressure levels above the Venus clouds, allowing a determination of the vertical temperature structure. In addition to the temperature sounding channels, there are two channels operating in the visible and near infrared to study the structure of the upper clouds, and a far infrared channel sensitive to water vapor in and above the clouds. The instrument can operate in four modes including a calibration sequence; by utilizing the spinning action of the spacecraft and short integration times, a substantial portion of the planet can be mapped within a 90 min data taking period centered about periapsis time. Temperature profiles retrieved during the course of the mission will clarify the dynamical processes in the upper atmosphere.

  7. Structure of the middle atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasova, Ludmila

    Middle atmosphere of Venus (55-100 km), its mesosphere, is the important layer of atmosphere, where 70 % of the solar energy is absorbed. Most of this absorption takes place in the upper clouds in the altitude range 58-68 km in the spectral range 0.32-0.5 µm. It leads to generation of the thermal tides, playing important role in support of the superrotation. In the frame of COSPAR model VIRA (ASR, 11,1985) the model of the thermal structure of the middle atmosphere was constructed for 5 latitude ranges, based mainly on the Pioneer Venus ORO and OIR data. Using Venera-15 Fourier Spectrometry data, which allow to retrieve the temperature and aerosol profiles in a self consistent way from each spectrum, we enable to update the model of the middle atmosphere, including the local time variation of the temperature for VIRA latitude ranges (Cosmic Research, 44, 4, 2006). From Venera-15 data it was shown that variation of temperature in the middle atmosphere is well described by thermal tides with harmonics 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 Venusian day, the amplitudes and phases of which depend on latitude and altitude. The model of the upper clouds (VIRA) may also be updated using Venera-15 data. It was shown that the main latitude trend is the decreasing of the upper cloud boundary from 68 km at low latitudes to 60-62 km at high latitudes. Local time variation has a solar related dependence: 1 and 1/2 day components were revealed. Venus Express continues to obtain a lot of data, which may be used for the improvement of the model of the middle atmosphere and the clouds.

  8. ENA diagnostic of the solar wind interaction with Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, Stas

    Charge - exchange of the solar wind ions flowing around non-magnetized Mars and Venus on their exospheres results in hydrogen energetic neutral atom (ENA) emissions. Accelerated planetary ions may also experience charge - exchange resulting in planetary ENAs, mainly oxygen. The ENAs carry information on the ion distribution functions integrated over the line-of-sight and are used for remote sensing of the original plasma populations. The ASPERA-3/4 instruments (Analyzer of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) onboard Mars Express and Venus Express missions performed the first-ever measurements of ENAs from these bodies in the energy range 100 eV - 10 keV. ENAs are mostly emitted by the magnetospheath plasma flowing around the induced magnetosphere. Due to lower gravity the Martian exosphere extends further in the magnetosheath than at Venus that makes Mars a “brighter ENA source”. We thus focus mostly on Mars and only briefly discuss ENA observations at Venus. ENA emissions from an elementary emitting volume in the magnetosheath are highly anisotropic and occur along the tangential line to the stream-line in this point. That makes impossible to obtain a global ENA image of the object from a single vantage point contrary to, for example, “classical” ENA imaging of the terrestrial ring current. At Mars the statistically obtained emission pattern shows an increase in the ENA flux perpendicular to the sun direction resembling a thick layer or a wall. The emissions coming mostly from the sub-solar point show an increase in the direction opposite to the convective electric field indicating the induced magnetosphere boundary is not cylindrically symmetric and closer to planet in this direction. Measurements of ENAs turned out to be an effective way to reveal the global dynamics of an induced magnetosphere. Arrival of an interplanetary shock to Mars and the associated compression of the induced magnetosphere are clearly detected as an abrupt termination of the ENA

  9. Wave granulation in the Venus' atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    2007-08-01

    corresponding them wave granule sizes. (1/338 : 1/6)πR = πR/56.3 = 342 km. (1/338 x 1/6)πR = πR/2028 = 9.5 km. The larger granules as well arranged network were seen in the near IR Galileo image PIA00073 (several miles below the visible cloud tops). The smaller granules, hopefully, will be detected by the Venus Express cameras. So, the wave planetology applying wave methods to solid planetary bodies and to surrounding them gaseous envelopes shows their structural unity. This understanding may help to analyze and predict very complex behavior of atmospheric sells at Earth (anticyclones up to 5000 km across or πR/4), other planets and Titan. Long time ago known the solar supergranules about 30000 km across were never fully understood. The comparative wave planetology placing them together with wave features of planets and satellites throws light on their origin and behavior and thus expands into an area of the solar physics. In this respect it is interesting to note that rather typical for Sun radio emission in 1 meter diapason also was never properly explained. But applying modulation of the solar photosphere frequency 1/ 1month by the Galaxy frequency 1/ 200 000 000 y. one can obtain such short waves [5]. Radio emissions of planets of the solar system also can be related to this modulation by Galaxy rotation [5]. References: [1] Kochemasov G.G. (1992) Comparison of blob tectonics (Venus) and pair tectonics (Earth) // LPS XXIII, Houston, LPI, pt. 2, 703-704; [2] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Orbiting frequency modulation in Solar system and its imprint in shapes and structures of celestial bodies // Vernadsky-Brown microsymposium 32 on Comparative planetology, Oct. 9-11, 2000, Moscow, Russia, Abstracs, 88-89; [3] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Titan: frequency modulation of warping waves // Geophys. Res. Abstr., v. 2, (CD-ROM); [4] Kochemasov G.G. (2005) Cassini' lessons: square craters, shoulderto- shoulder even-size aligned and in grids craters having wave interference nature must be

  10. Wave granulation in the Venus' atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    2007-08-01

    corresponding them wave granule sizes. (1/338 : 1/6)πR = πR/56.3 = 342 km. (1/338 x 1/6)πR = πR/2028 = 9.5 km. The larger granules as well arranged network were seen in the near IR Galileo image PIA00073 (several miles below the visible cloud tops). The smaller granules, hopefully, will be detected by the Venus Express cameras. So, the wave planetology applying wave methods to solid planetary bodies and to surrounding them gaseous envelopes shows their structural unity. This understanding may help to analyze and predict very complex behavior of atmospheric sells at Earth (anticyclones up to 5000 km across or πR/4), other planets and Titan. Long time ago known the solar supergranules about 30000 km across were never fully understood. The comparative wave planetology placing them together with wave features of planets and satellites throws light on their origin and behavior and thus expands into an area of the solar physics. In this respect it is interesting to note that rather typical for Sun radio emission in 1 meter diapason also was never properly explained. But applying modulation of the solar photosphere frequency 1/ 1month by the Galaxy frequency 1/ 200 000 000 y. one can obtain such short waves [5]. Radio emissions of planets of the solar system also can be related to this modulation by Galaxy rotation [5]. References: [1] Kochemasov G.G. (1992) Comparison of blob tectonics (Venus) and pair tectonics (Earth) // LPS XXIII, Houston, LPI, pt. 2, 703-704; [2] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Orbiting frequency modulation in Solar system and its imprint in shapes and structures of celestial bodies // Vernadsky-Brown microsymposium 32 on Comparative planetology, Oct. 9-11, 2000, Moscow, Russia, Abstracs, 88-89; [3] Kochemasov G.G. (2000) Titan: frequency modulation of warping waves // Geophys. Res. Abstr., v. 2, (CD-ROM); [4] Kochemasov G.G. (2005) Cassini' lessons: square craters, shoulderto- shoulder even-size aligned and in grids craters having wave interference nature must be

  11. Solar EUV measurements at Venus based on photoelectron emission from the Pioneer Venus Langmuir Probe

    SciTech Connect

    Brace, L.H.; Hoegy, W.R.; Theis, R.F. )

    1988-07-01

    The photoelectron current from the Pioneer Venus Langmuir probe has provided measurements of the solar extreme ultraviolet flux at Venus since 1979. This current is the product of the photoelectric yield of the collector and the solar spectrum at wavelengths short enough to cause emission. Calculations show that approximately 51% of the emission is due to Lyman {alpha} (1,216 {angstrom}), 46% is produced by wavelengths between 550 and 1,100 {angstrom}, and less than 3% is due to wavelengths longer than Lyman {alpha}. Thus, the Langmuir probe provides a direct measure of the total solar EUV flux, including most of the wavelengths that produce the Venus ionosphere and heat and excite neutrals in the thermosphere. The measurement technique is described, and the daily average measurements of photocurrent obtained between 1979 and 1987 are presented. The photocurrents exhibit variations related to the solar cycle and solar rotation, as well as a major 7.2-month periodicity. The authors present three indices of EUV based on the measurements: (1) the photoemission current itself, (2) the total EUV flux, and (3) an F{sub 10.7}-like solar index. These are compared with related measurements made simultaneously at Earth. These data may also help solar physicists track the intensity of EUV emission regions on the Sun while they are not visible from the Earth. The EUV flux profile of a solar flare event is also illustrated. In the future the method also could be applied on a comet mission to obtain the incident solar EUV flux, to measure the EUV extinction profiles of the cometary atmosphere, and to sample directly the dust and gas environment of the comet through the ionization the dust and gas produce when they impact the collector.

  12. Venus volcanism and El Chichon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Peter M.

    Reinterpretations of telemetry data returned to earth from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter suggest that the surface of Venus may be characterized by violent immense volcanic activity. L.W. Esposito has made an interactive analysis of Pioneer ultraviolet spectral data and similar data from the earth's atmosphere [Science, 223, 1072-1074, 1984]. Spacecraft analysis of sulfur dioxide in the earth's upper atmosphere, apparently released by El Chich[acu]on, Mexico, in March 1982 (EOS, June 14, 1983, p. 411, and August 16, 1983, p. 506) prompted reanalysis of accumulated Pioneer ultraviolet data. Massive injections of sulfur dioxide into the Venus atmosphere could be the result of volcanic eruptions about the size of the Krakatoa explosive eruption that took place between Java and Summatra in 1883.

  13. Geologic map of the Pandrosos Dorsa Quadrangle (V-5), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenberg, Elizabeth; McGill, George E.

    2001-01-01

    Introduction The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan had the objectives of (1) improving knowledge of the geologic processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three datasets: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, passive microwave thermal emission observations, and measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging and altimetric and radiometric mapping of the Venusian surface were done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3, from September 1990 until September 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution of approximately 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution; these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal-receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied from about 20? to 45?. High-resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft was done from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). High-resolution gravity observations from about 950 orbits were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993, while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 kilometers and an apoapsis near 8,000 kilometers. Observations from an additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbitcircularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75? by 75? harmonic field.

  14. Geologic map of the Bell Regio Quadrangle (V-9), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Bruce A.; Campbell, Patricia G.

    2002-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan had the objectives of (1) improving knowledge of the geologic processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three datasets: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, passive microwave thermal emission observations, and measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging and altimetric and radiometric mapping of the venusian surface were done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3, from September 1990 until September 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution of approximately 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution; these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal-receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied from about 20° to 45°. High-resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft was done from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). High-resolution gravity observations from about 950 orbits were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993, while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 kilometers and an apoapsis near 8,000 kilometers. Observations from an additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbitcircularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75° by 75° harmonic field.

  15. Geological map of the Kaiwan Fluctus Quadrangle (V-44), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, Nathan T.; McGill, George E.

    2002-01-01

    Introduction The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the Venusian atmosphereon October 12, 1994. Magellan had the objectives of: (1) improving knowledge of the geologic processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of Venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three datasets: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, passive microwave thermal emission observations, and measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging and altimetric and radiometric mapping of the Venusian surface were done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3, from September 1990 until September of 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution of approximately 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution; these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied from about 20? to 45?. High-resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft was done from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). High-resolution gravity observations from about 950 orbits were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993, while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 kilometers and an apoapsis near 8,000 kilometers. Observations from an additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbit-circularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75? by 75? harmonic field.

  16. Geologic map of the Carson Quadrangle (V-43), Venus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bender, Kelly C.; Senske, David A.; Greeley, Ronald

    2000-01-01

    The Magellan spacecraft orbited Venus from August 10, 1990, until it plunged into the venusian atmosphere on October 12, 1994. Magellan had the objectives of (1) improving knowledge of the geologic processes, surface properties, and geologic history of Venus by analysis of surface radar characteristics, topography, and morphology and (2) improving knowledge of the geophysics of Venus by analysis of venusian gravity. The Magellan spacecraft carried a 12.6-cm radar system to map the surface of Venus. The transmitter and receiver systems were used to collect three datasets: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, passive microwave thermal emission observations, and measurements of the backscattered power at small angles of incidence, which were processed to yield altimetric data. Radar imaging and altimetric and radiometric mapping of the venusian surface were done in mission cycles 1, 2, and 3, from September 1990 until September 1992. Ninety-eight percent of the surface was mapped with radar resolution of approximately 120 meters. The SAR observations were projected to a 75-m nominal horizontal resolution; these full-resolution data compose the image base used in geologic mapping. The primary polarization mode was horizontal-transmit, horizontal-receive (HH), but additional data for selected areas were collected for the vertical polarization sense. Incidence angles varied from about 20° to 45°. High-resolution Doppler tracking of the spacecraft was done from September 1992 through October 1994 (mission cycles 4, 5, 6). High-resolution gravity observations from about 950 orbits were obtained between September 1992 and May 1993, while Magellan was in an elliptical orbit with a periapsis near 175 kilometers and an apoapsis near 8,000 kilometers. Observations from an additional 1,500 orbits were obtained following orbitcircularization in mid-1993. These data exist as a 75° by 75° harmonic field.

  17. Biologically closed electrical circuits in venus flytrap.

    PubMed

    Volkov, Alexander G; Carrell, Holly; Markin, Vladislav S

    2009-04-01

    The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) is a marvel of plant electrical, mechanical, and biochemical engineering. The rapid closure of the Venus flytrap upper leaf in about 0.1 s is one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. We found earlier that the electrical stimulus between a midrib and a lobe closes the Venus flytrap upper leaf without mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs. The Venus flytrap can accumulate small subthreshold charges and, when the threshold value is reached, the trap closes. Here, we investigated the electrical properties of the upper leaf of the Venus flytrap and proposed the equivalent electrical circuit in agreement with the experimental data.

  18. Investigating the Geophysics of Venus: Result of the post-Alpbach Summer School 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koopmans, Robert-Jan; Łosiak, Anna; Białek, Agata; Donohoe, Anthony; Fernández Jiménez, María; Frasl, Barbara; Gurciullo, Antonio; Kleinschneider, Andreas; Mannel, Thurid; Muñoz Elorza, Iñigo; Nilsson, Daniel; Oliveira, Marta; Sørensen-Clark, Paul; Timoney, Ryan; van Zelst, Iris

    2015-04-01

    Venus has been investigated by only five dedicated mission programs since the beginning of space flight. This relatively low level of interest is remarkable when considering that mass and radius of Venus are very similar to Earth's, while at the same time characteristics such as spin rate, atmospheric composition, pressure and temperature, make Venus a very different, inhabitable world. The underlying causes of these differences are not well understood. Apprehending Venus' tectonics and internal structure would not only shed light on the question why those two planets evolved so differently, but also help refining current models of planetary systems formation. In order to answer the question about reasons for differences in evolution of those two planets a group of 15 young scientists and engineers designed a mission to Venus during a follow-up of the Alpbach Summer School 2014. The primary objective of this mission is to learn whether Venus is tectonically active and on what time scale. In order to accomplish this goal the mission will determine the crustal structure of Venus, the current activity and distribution of active volcanoes and the movement of continental plates. The secondary objective is to further constrain the models of Venus' internal structure and composition. To achieve this, the mission will investigate the size, state and composition of the core as well as the state and composition of the mantle. The proposed mission consists of an orbiter in a near-polar circular orbit around Venus and a balloon for in-situ measurements operating during the initial phase of the mission. The balloon carries a nephelometer, a magnetometer, a mass spectrometer and stereo microphones and meteorological package. The orbiter carries a gradiometer for determining the gravity field, a synthetic aperture radar for investigating small changes in surface topography and mapping microwave signals from the surface and an IR and UV spectrometer and IR camera for monitoring

  19. Largest impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.; Weitz, C. M.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    1992-01-01

    High-resolution radar images from the Magellan spacecraft have allowed us to perform a detailed study on 25 large impact craters on Venus with diameters from 70 to 280 km. The dimension of these large craters is comparable with the characteristic thickness of the venusian lithosphere and the atmospheric scale height. Some physical parameters for the largest impact craters on Venus (LICV), such as depth, ring/diameter ratio, and range of ballistic ejecta deposits, have been obtained from the SAR images and the altimetry dataset produced by MIT. Data related to each of these parameters is discussed.

  20. Venus Atmospheric Exploration by Solar Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; LaMarre, C.; Colozza, A.

    2002-01-01

    The Venus atmosphere is a favorable environment for flying powered aircraft. The atmospheric pressure makes flight much easier than on planets such as Mars. Above the clouds, solar energy is available in abundance on Venus, and the slow rotation of Venus allows a solar airplane to be designed for flight within continuous sunlight. The atmosphere between 50 km and 75 km on Venus is one of the most dynamic and interesting regions of the planet. The challenge for a Venus aircraft will be the fierce winds and caustic atmosphere. In order to remain on the sunlit side of Venus, an exploration aircraft will have to be capable of sustained flight at or above the wind speed. An aircraft would be a powerful tool for exploration. By learning how Venus can be so similar to Earth, and yet so different, we will learn to better understand the climate and geological history of the Earth.

  1. Limb Altitude and the Southern Hemispheric Vortex Observed by Venus Monitoring Camera on VEX Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limaye, Sanjay; Krauss, Robert; Markiewicz, Wojciech

    2013-04-01

    The Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) on European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter has been collecting almost daily images at four wavelengths (365, 550, 980 and 1050 nm) since June 2006 with a few gaps during solar conjunctions. These data provide a nearly continuous record of the southern vortex (Limaye at al. 2009) that spans the entire hemisphere and reveal a dynamic, constantly evolving structure and showing a range of dynamical instability features in the central region. These instability features are also seen in the near infrared observations from the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express (Luz et al. 2011). Some similarities between the Venus hemispheric vortex and a tropical cyclone have been previously noted (Suomi and Limaye, 1981; Limaye et al., 2009; 2011) and more have been discovered from the VMC observations. While the details of the spatial structure of the vortex is easily observed from the imaging observations at ultraviolet (VMC) and near infrared wavelengths (VIRTIS), the vertical structure is more difficult to determine from Venus Express. Here we present inferences about the vertical level obtained from the visible limb of the planet in VMC images. The altitude of the limb has been measured using full or near full disk images and depicts the altitude of the Venus cloud cover which comprises the vortex circulation. By precisely locating the limb location by fitting each limb profile in the VMC images, the average latitudinal profile of the limb altitude has been estimated. Although the pixel size of the images used is ~ 30-45 km, the large number of images (> 25,000) provides a very large sample of limb altitude determinations at each latitude between the equator and about 60° S latitude enabling sub-pixel variations of the limb altitude. The latitudinal profile of the limb altitude is similar to that inferred from the near infrared observations from VIRTIS (Ignatiev et al., 2009; Cottini et al., 2012) - high in low latitudes and low in polar

  2. A comparison of induced magnetotails of planetary bodies: Venus, Mars, and Titan

    SciTech Connect

    Luhmann, J.G.; Russell, C.T. ); Schwingenschuh, K. ); Yeroshenko, Ye. )

    1991-07-01

    The Pioneer Venus orbiter (PVO), PHOBOS 2, and Voyager 1 spacecraft have together provided observations of three planetary bodies with induced magnetotails: Venus, Mars, and Titan. During the extended mission of PVO, the tail of Venus was probed at an altitude of {approximately} 1.3 planetary radii, which provided a more appropriate basis for comparison with the Mars data (at {approximately} 2.7 planetary radii), and Titan data ({approximately} 2.5 planetary radii downstream), then the previously analyzed Venus tail data obtained near PVO apoapsis ({approximately} 12 planetary radii). A parallel examination of the magnetic properties of these tails at downstream distances within 3 planetary radii reveals the following similarities and differences. In the cases of Venus and Mars, which are always embedded in the supermagnetosonic solar wind flow, the tail lobe fields are smoothly joined to the draped magnetosheath fields at their outer boundaries, but separated in the center by a distinct, and sometimes narrow, current sheet. The tail of Mars has a cross section that is wider, when scaled by the planet radius, than that at Venus (as found by earlier MARS spacecraft experiments), a lobe field strength that is about the same as that at Venus by {approximately}1.5 times. The tail of Titan appears similar to the others except that there is no bow shock and little or no draped magnetosheath field signature since the surrounding magnetospheric plasma flow is submagnetosonic (although super-Alfvenic). The lobe field strengths are about half those at Venus and Mars, while the cross-tail field is almost negligible. The near-Titan tail diameter is close to the body diameter.

  3. Understanding Divergent Evolution Among Earth-like Planets, the Case for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.

    2001-11-01

    Venus was once considered to be Earth's twin because of its similar size, mass, and solar distance. Prevailing theories early in the 20th century alternately characterized it as a hot, lifeless desert or a cool, habitable swamp. Venus was therefore the target of intense scrutiny during the first three decades of the space age. Those studies found that although Venus and Earth apparently formed in similar parts of the solar nebula, sharing common inventories of refractory and volatile constituents, these two planets followed dramatically different evolutionary paths. While the Earth evolved into the only known oasis for life, Venus developed an almost unimaginably inhospitable environment for such an Earth-like planet. Some features of Venus can be understood as products of its location in the solar system, but other properties and processes governing the evolution and present state of its interior, surface, and climate remain mysterious or even contradictory. A more comprehensive understanding of these factors is clearly essential as NASA embarks on efforts to detect and then characterize Earth-like planets in other solar systems. As part of the National Research Council's effort to identify themes and priorities for solar system exploration over the next decade, an open community panel was formed to provide input on future Venus exploration. A comprehensive investigation of the processes driving the divergent evolution of Venus is emerging as the primary focus. In other words, why is Venus a failed Earth? From this theme, we will define specific measurement objectives, instrument requirements, and mission requirements. Priorities will then be based on a number of factors including the needs for simultaneous or correlative measurements, technology readiness, and available opportunities.

  4. Pancakelike domes on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckenzie, Dan; Ford, Peter G.; Liu, Fang; Pettengill, Gordon H.

    1992-01-01

    The shape of seven large domes on the plains of Venus, with volumes between 100 and 1000 cu km, is compared with that of an axisymmetric gravity current spreading over a rigid horizontal surface. Both the altimetric profiles and the horizontal projection of the line of intersection of domes on the SAR images agree well with the theoretical similarity solution for a newtonian fluid, but not with the shape calculated for a rigid-plastic rheology, nor with that for a static model with a strong skin. As a viscous current spreads, it generates an isotropic strain rate tensor whose magnitude is independent of radius. Such a flow can account for the randomly oriented cracks that are uniformly distributed on the surface of the domes. The stress induced by the flow in the plains material below is obtained, and is probably large enough to produce the short radial cracks in the surface of the plains beyond the domes. The viscosity of the domes can be estimated from their thermal time constants if spreading is possible only when the fluid is hot, and lies between 10(exp 14) and 10(exp 17) Pa s. Laboratory experiments show that such viscosities correspond to temperatures of 610 - 690 C in dry rhyolitic magmas. These temperatures agree with laboratory measurements of the solidus temperature of wet rhyolite. These results show that the development of the domes can be understood using simple fluid dynamical ideas, and that the magmas involved can be produced by wet melting at depths below 10 km, followed by eruption and degassing.

  5. Venus - Ovda Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This image covers much of Ovda Regio, which forms the western part of Aphrodite Terra. It covers an area about 2,250 kilometers (1,386 miles) wide by 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) north to south, and ranges in latitude from 8 degrees north to 12 degrees south and in longitude from 62 degrees east to 90 degrees east. Ovda Regio is a highland region that rises over 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the surrounding plain. Magellan images show a complex surface, with several generations of structures. A pervasive fabric of irregular broad domes and ridges and associated curvilinear valleys was flooded by lava, then fractured. The circular feature surrounded by dark lava flows in the western part of the image is a caldera, or large volcanic collapse pit. Late-stage extension created long graben, or fault-bounded valleys, is best seen near the center of the image. The northern boundary of Ovda Regio is a steep, curvilinear mountain belt made up of long, narrow, rounded ridges. These ridges are similar in appearance to folded mountain belts on Earth. Several impact craters, such as the circular features on the western margin of the image, are scattered across the area. The bright area in the southeast part of the image indicates the presence of a radar-reflective mineral such as pyrite. Most of the highland areas on Venus display a similar bright signal. Each pixel of this image covers an area on the surface 675 meters (2,215 feet) across, representing a 9- times reduction in resolution compared to full-scale resolution data.

  6. Venus Phoebe Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This Magellan radar image is of part of the Phoebe region of Venus. It is a mosaic of parts of revolutions 146 and 147 acquired in the first radar test on Aug. 16, 1990. The area in the image is located at 291 degrees east longitude, 20 degrees south latitude. The image shows an area 30 kilometers (19.6 miles) wide and 76 km (47 miles) long. The image shows a broad, up to 17 km (11 miles) wide, radar bright, lobate lava flow that extends 25 km (15.5 miles) northwest across the image strip. The volcanic flow appears bright in this image because it is rough on a scale of a few centimeters to a few meters (a few inches to a few yards), much like lava flows on Earth that are called by geologists 'aa' (ah-ah), a Hawaiian word that probably mimics the sound the ancients uttered while running barefoot over the rough, jagged surface. It is located near the southeast flank of Phoebe Regio and has flowed into local topographic lows. This lava flow has flooded the darker plains and appears to have buried north-south trending lineaments that cut the darker material. No obvious volcanic sources area visible in this image. The flow has a markedly uniform surface texture in contrast to the more mottled texture of adjacent deposits; this suggests it may represent the most recent in a series of eruptions that subsequently have been obscured. To the north and south are northwest trending graben crustal depression, or fault, areas that may belong to the system of fractures associated with Phoebe Regio.

  7. Mercury, Venus and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamath, Sushruth; Rivera, Julian; Garcia, Michael; Benaroya, Haym

    2015-07-01

    The exploration of space has been at the forefront of scientific thought and discovery for the last half century. Beginning with the first Sputnik satellite in 1957 to the Curiosity landing and the other numerous ongoing missions of today, mankind is setting its sights away from Earth.

  8. Ion energetics in the Venus nightside ionosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knudsen, W. C.; Miller, K. L.; Spenner, K.; Whitten, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    Consideration is given to the energetics of the ion gas flowing across the terminator into the Venus nightside ionosphere. Expressions are derived for the transport time of the ion gas (through 1 radian in solar zenith angle), the heat transfer time from the hot electron gas to the ions of an amount equal to the ion thermal energy), and the time required for vertical heat conduction to remove the internal energy of the ion column above a reference altitude, and it is shown that the time constant for transport is an order of magnitude smaller than the electron heat transfer time and comparable to the conduction time, and thus the ion gas is not a vertical conductive steady state. The conversion of bulk flow ion kinetic energy into heat is suggested as the mechanism responsible for the maintenance of the nightside ion temperatures at their observed values. It is thus concluded that the flow of the ion gas is quasi-adiabatic, and that steady-state, vertical, one dimensional energy balance models must be used with caution in the Venus ionosphere.

  9. Hotspots on Venus: Possible recent activity at Themis Regio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stofan, E. R.; Smrekar, S. E.; Helbert, J.; Mueller, N. T.

    2012-12-01

    Themis Regio, Venus is a 2300 x 1700 km topographic rise, with an average height of about 0.5 km. It is one of the ~10 hotspots on Venus, thought to be underlain by a mantle plume (e.g., Stofan and Smrekar, 2005). Thirteen coronae are located on the rise, with an additional six in the surrounding region (Stofan and Brian, 2012). In addition, six volcanoes with diameters > 100 km are found on and near the rise, along with numerous intermediate and smaller volcanoes. The Themis rise lies at the western end of the Parga Chasma rift system. Flows associated with Themis coronae, volcanoes and plains both superpose and are cut by Parga fractures and graben. Recent mapping of Themis Regio reveals a complex history of corona, volcano and rift formation that has overlapped in time and space (Stofan and Brian, 2012). Smrekar and Stofan (1999) found that gravity data for Themis was best fit by a bottom-loading model with an elastic thickness estimate of 22 km, a crustal thickness of 10 km, and an apparent depth of compensation of 80-110 km. The observed range in morphologies of the Themis coronae indicating a range in stages of evolution, along with the delamination signal seen in the gravity data, and the broad topographic swell indicate that Themis is likely to be underlain by an active plume with ongoing surface deformation due to delamination. In addition, the complex sequence of corona formation observed at Themis suggests that a series of small-scale upwellings over time are responsible for corona formation, rather than nearly simultaneously from the break-up of a single large-scale mantle plume (Stofan and Smrekar, 2005). VIRTIS data from the Venus Express mission has provided evidence that relatively recent volcanic activity may have occurred in the region (Smrekar et al., 2010). Fifteen locations on or near the Themis rise have elevated values of emissivity in the VIRTIS data. We investigate all of these regions, and find them to be correlated with areas of volcanic

  10. Power System for Venus Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Mellott, Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    A radioisotope power and cooling system is designed to provide electrical power for a probe operating on the surface of Venus. Most foreseeable electronics devices and sensors cannot operate at the 450 C ambient surface temperature of Venus. Because the mission duration is substantially long and the use of thermal mass to maintain an operable temperature range is likely impractical, some type of active refrigeration may be required to keep electronic components at a temperature below ambient. The fundamental cooling parameters are the cold sink temperature, the hot sink temperature, and the amount of heat to be removed. In this instance, it is anticipated that electronics would have a nominal operating temperature of 300 C. Due to the highly thermal convective nature of the high-density (90 bar CO2) atmosphere, the hot sink temperature was assumed to be 50 C, which provided a 500 C temperature of the cooler's heat rejecter to the ambient atmosphere. The majority of the heat load on the cooler is from the high temperature ambient surface environment on Venus, with a small contribution of heat generation from electronics and sensors. Both thermoelectric (RTG) and dynamic power conversion systems were analyzed, based on use of a standard isotope (General-purpose heat source, or GPHS) brick. For the radioisotope Stirling power converter configuration designed, the Sage model predicts a thermodynamic power output capacity of 478.1 watts, which slightly exceeds the required 469.1 watts. The hot sink temperature is 1200 C, and the cold sink temperature is 500 C. The required heat input is 1740 watts. This gives a thermodynamic efficiency of 27.48 %. It is estimated that the mechanical efficiency of the power converter design is on the order of 85 %, based on experimental measurements taken from 500-watt power class, laboratory-tested Stirling engines. The overall efficiency is calculated to be 23.36 %. The mass of the power converter is estimated at approximately 21.6 kg

  11. Venus Surface Power and Cooling System Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Mellott, Kenneth D.

    2004-01-01

    A radioisotope power and cooling system is designed to provide electrical power for the a probe operating on the surface of Venus. Most foreseeable electronics devices and sensors simply cannot operate at the 450 C ambient surface temperature of Venus. Because the mission duration is substantially long and the use of thermal mass to maintain an operable temperature range is likely impractical, some type of active refrigeration may be required to keep certain components at a temperature below ambient. The fundamental cooling requirements are comprised of the cold sink temperature, the hot sink temperature, and the amount of heat to be removed. In this instance, it is anticipated that electronics would have a nominal operating temperature of 300 C. Due to the highly thermal convective nature of the high-density atmosphere, the hot sink temperature was assumed to be 50 C, which provided a 500 C temperature of the cooler's heat rejecter to the ambient atmosphere. The majority of the heat load on the cooler is from the high temperature ambient surface environment on Venus. Assuming 5 cm radial thickness of ceramic blanket insulation, the ambient heat load was estimated at approximately 77 watts. With an estimated quantity of 10 watts of heat generation from electronics and sensors, and to accommodate some level of uncertainty, the total heat load requirement was rounded up to an even 100 watts. For the radioisotope Stirling power converter configuration designed, the Sage model predicts a thermodynamic power output capacity of 478.1 watts, which slightly exceeds the required 469.1 watts. The hot sink temperature is 1200 C, and the cold sink temperature is 500 C. The required heat input is 1740 watts. This gives a thermodynamic efficiency of 27.48 %. The maximum theoretically obtainable efficiency is 47.52 %. It is estimated that the mechanical efficiency of the power converter design is on the order of 85 %, based on experimental measurements taken from 500 watt power

  12. Water vapor and the cloud top variations in the Venus' mesosphere from the SPICAV observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedorova, Anna; Marcq, Emmanuel; Montmessin, Franck; Korablev, Oleg; Luginin, Mikhail; Bertaux, Jean-Loup

    SPICAV VIS-IR is an AOTF (acousto-optical tunable filter) spectrometer working in the spectral range of 0.65-1.7 µm onboard the Venus Express mission. It provides measurements of the H2O abundance above Venus’ clouds based on the 1.38-µm band and the cloud top altitude based on the CO2 bands in the range of 1.4-1.6 μm. The new calibrations of the instrument in 2010-2012 allowed updating of results reported earlier. The cloud top altitude has been routinely retrieved for all dataset from 2006 to 2014 taking into account multiple-scattering in the cloudy atmosphere. The τ=1 level at 1.48 μm varies from 69 to 73 km at lower latitudes and from 64 to 68 km at high latitudes near the Poles. The long-term and year-to-year variations were studied. The H2O mixing ratio from the 1.38 μm band varies from 4 to 12 ppm. The variations are higher than H2O mixing ratio variations at altitudes of 68-70 km observed by VIRTIS-H/Venus Express [Cottini et al., 2012] from 2.56 μm. The 1.38 μm H2O band is sensitivity to altitudes of 55-70 km and a vertical gradient of water within the upper clouds can be responsible for the water behavior. The spot pointing observations for wide variations of viewing angle in the near-IR spectral range are useful to determine the vertical gradient of water within the clouds. Long-term variations of water vapor in upper clouds were not found for period from 2007 to 2014 at all range of latitudes.

  13. Temperature Measurements in Venus Upper Atmosphere between 2007 and 2015 from ground-based Infrared Heterodyne Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, Pia; Wischnewski, Carolin; Sornig, Manuela; Stangier, Tobias; Sonnabend, Guido; Herrmann, Maren; Wiegand, Moritz; Kostiuk, Theodor; Livengood, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    The structure of Venus atmosphere has been the target of intense studies in the past decade. Among manifold ground based observations, the recent space mission Venus Express in particular has shed light on many open questions concerning the thermal and the dynamical behavior of its atmosphere. A comprehensive understanding of this atmospheric region is still missing. Therefore, direct measurements of atmospheric parameters on various time scales and at different locations on the planet are essential for an understanding and for the validation of global circulation models. Such observations are provided by the infrared heterodyne spectrometers THIS (University of Cologne), HIPWAC (NASA GSFC) and MILAHI (Tohoku University). These instruments fully resolve CO2 non-LTE emission lines for Doppler-wind and temperature retrievals at an pressure level of 1μbar (~110 km) by operating around 10μm. The Long- and short-term variability of daytime temperatures at the ~1μbar level from ground-based observing campaigns between 2007 to 2015 shall be presented. The observations yield a large quantity of temperature measurements at different positions on the planetary disk which allows to map a good part of the dayside of Venus. In addition a detailed study of the interesting but not well understood and only poorly investigated area close to the terminator will be given. Investigations on the general behavior of the temperature and differences between the morning and evening terminators are accomplished. Ongoing analysis of thermal variability and comparison to other observing methods and model calculations are in progress and will be included in the presentation if already available.

  14. WEGENER: Solid Body Dynamics Investigation of Venus. Results from Summer School Alpbach 2014.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialek, A.; Coyle, S.; Czeluschke, A.; Donaldson Hanna, K.; Donohoe, A.; Hu, H.; Koopmans, R.-J.; Lucchetti, A.; Mannel, T.; Nachon, M.; Nilsson, D.; Shelakhaev, N.; Suer, A.; Timoney, R.

    2015-10-01

    The work presented in this paper was performed by the Orange Team during Summer School Alpbach 2014, which mainly concerns about geophysics of terrestrial planets. A mission is designed to investigate the past and current tectonic and volcanic activity on Venus. During the mission, a simultaneous observations from topographic, magnetic and gravitational measurements will be performed and the combination of the information has the potential to provide an improved understanding of the formation and evolution of the planet.

  15. Phlogopite Decomposition, Water, and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, N. M.; Fegley, B., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Venus is a hot an