Public presentation of M5 candidate missions

Credit: European Space Agency – VR2Planets

Virtual public presentation of missions in competition for the ESA M5 launch opportunity took place on 29 April 2021 09:30 – 13:00 CEST, with Q&A session. Further information and presentation files at:   https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/m5-public-presentation/.

This video illustrates the deployment of payload instruments VenSAR and SRS followed by basic spacecraft operations. Credit: European Space Agency – VR2Planets.

EnVision’s coherent observing strategy is to combine observations at wavelengths from UV to radio frequency to study geological and atmospheric processes at an unprecedented scale of resolution, from the core to the upper atmosphere of Venus:

  • VenSAR, a reflectarray, dual polarization S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, will map the surface using a range of modes including imaging at spatial resolutions of 10 m to 30 m, altimetry, polarimetry (HV for the 1st time) and radiometry;
  • A Subsurface Sounding Radar (SRS) will penetrate into the top kilometre of the subsurface, and search for underground layering and buried boundaries;
  • Three spectrometers VenSpec-U, VenSpec-H and VenSpec-M, operating in the UV and Infrared, will map trace gases, including search for volcanic gas plumes, above and below the clouds, and map surface composition;
  • A gravity & radio science investigation will use radio tracking to map the planet’s gravity field, constraining internal structure, and will measure atmospheric properties through radio occultation.