New Space and Tech

Rocket Lab’s Mission To Venus

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 18, 2022
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Rocket Lab’s Mission To Venus
Rocket Lab’s Venus Mission
Rocket lab

Image: Rocket Lab’s Electron-launched private mission to Venus will deploy a small probe from a high-energy Photon.

Regular, low-cost Decadal-class science missions to planetary destinations will be enabled by high-DeltaV small spacecraft, such as the high-energy Photon, and small launch vehicles, such as Electron, to support expanding opportunities for scientists and to increase the rate of science return.

The Rocket Lab mission to Venus is a small direct entry probe planned for baseline launch in May 2023 with accommodation for a single ~1 kg instrument. A backup launch window is available in January 2025. The probe mission will spend about 5 min in the Venus cloud layers at 48-60 km altitude above the surface and collect in situ measurements.

We have chosen a low-mass, low-cost autofluorescing nephelometer to search for organic molecules in the cloud particles and constrain the particle composition.

Comments: Based on the text of the Venus Life Finder Mission Study report (arXiv:2112.05153). Published in Aerospace as a part of the Special Issue “The Search for Signs of Life on Venus: Science Objectives and Mission Designs” (this https URL). arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:2112.05153

Richard French, Christophe Mandy, Richard Hunter, Ehson Mosleh, Doug Sinclair, Peter Beck, Sara Seager, Janusz J. Petkowski, Christopher E. Carr, David H. Grinspoon, Darrel Baumgardner (for the Rocket Lab Venus Team)

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2208.07724 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2208.07724v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
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Journal reference: Aerospace 2022, 9, 445
Related DOI:
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Submission history
From: Janusz Petkowski
[v1] Tue, 16 Aug 2022 12:39:23 UTC (753 KB)
Full paper:
Venus, Astrobiology,

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