Overview of Flagship Class Venus Mission Architectures

Thumbnail Image
Cutts, James A.
Kwok, Johnny H.
Balint, Tibor S.
Associated Organization(s)
Supplementary to
Introduction: To assess the feasibility and potential technology needs of a future planned Venus Flagship class mission, NASA is funding a mission study in this fiscal year (FY08). Such a mission was recommended in NASA's 2006 Solar System Exploration Roadmap [1] and in the NRC SSE Decadal Survey [2]. The final mission architecture is required to be in line with the primary science goals and objectives, as defined in the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) White Paper [3], and enabled by suitable extreme environments technologies [4]. In order to assist the Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) for this year's study, an initial assessment was performed at JPL during the summer of 2007 [5], evaluating 17 potential mission architectures. Science requirements focused the architectures to near surface in situ missions only. Consequently, the studied architectures were bound by a New Frontiers (medium) class short lived surface mission concept at one end, working towards a future large Flagship class Venus Surface Sample Return (VSSR) mission at the other end, and through a number of architectures at various levels of complexities and corresponding cost levels. In this paper we outline the findings of last summer's study, including the recommended 3 key mission architecture groups - i.e., landers, mobile platforms, and geophysical networks - and link them to the final mission architecture from this year's study. References: [1] NASA - SSE Roadmap Team, "Solar System Exploration - Solar System Exploration Roadmap for NASA's Science Mission Directorate", Report Number: JPL-D-35618, NASA Science Missions Directorate, Planetary Science Division, Washington, D.C., 2006. [2] NRC, New Frontiers in the Solar System, an integrated exploration strategy, Technical re-port, Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 2003. [3] VEXAG, "Venus Exploration Goals, Objectives, Investigations, and Priorities: 2007", Website: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/vexag/, Viewed: March 12, 2008. [4] Kolawa, E., et al., "Extreme Environments Technologies for Future Space Science Mis-sions," Report Number : JPL D-32832, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, September 19, 2007. [5] Balint, T.S., Cutts, J.A., "Venus Flagship Class Missions Architectures", Presented at the 4th meeting of the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG), Greenbelt, MD, November 4-5, 2007.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Date Issued
Resource Type
Resource Subtype
Rights Statement
Rights URI