Rocket Lab Mission to Venus

Kavli Affiliate: Sara Seager

| First 5 Authors: Richard French, Christophe Mandy, Richard Hunter, Ehson Mosleh, Doug Sinclair

| Summary:

Regular, low-cost Decadal-class science missions to planetary destinations
will be enabled by high-{Delta}V 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.

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