ESA joins the Venus planetary science train with selection of fifth Medium-class mission

by | Jun 10, 2021 | ESA, exploration, Satellites, Science, Seradata News

ESA decided the winner of its fifth “Medium-class” Cosmic Vision competition on 10 June. Out of the two finalists the Venus-oriented “EnVision” orbiter won out over the gamma-ray burst studying “THESEUS”. The initial call for mission concepts was announced in 2016 and in 2017 13 potential missions were selected for further deliberation. This was narrowed down to three finalists in 2018: EnVision, THESEUS, and SPICA (This mission was dropped from the running in 2020).

Medium-class missions have a standard cost cap of EUR€550 million (US$670 million). This amount reportedly covers cost of the spacecraft, launch, and initial operations. Being a European project this mission is baselined to launch on an Ariane 6 (likely an Ariane 62) rocket, currently planned for 2032.

Artist's impression of the EnVision orbiter above Venus

Artist’s impression of the EnVision orbiter above Venus. Courtesy of ESA/VR2Planets/DamiaBouic

 

The EnVision mission will take the form of a Venus orbiter and will attempt to answer planetary science questions. Primarily the mission is intended to study the Venusian “tesserae”, considered to be equivalent to continents here on Earth. Through study of these rock formations it is hoped to gleam a better understanding of the history of our most similar planetary neighbour. The mission will also benefit from co-operation with the two other Venus missions recently announced by NASA – “Veritas” and Davinci+”. These three missions are all expected to be in-orbit of Venus at the same time in the early-2030s and it is planned that there will be experimental synergies between them.

Instrument contributions will primarily come from Europe with Italy, Germany and Belgium each providing one. France will be leading development of two instruments. In a mirror of the European SAR instrument being supplied for the NASA Veritas mission, the USA will build a similar instrument for EnVision.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

NASA has selected two new Discovery-class missions both to study Venus

NASA selected two new missions to form part of its Discovery programme on 2 June. These missions lie on the smaller end Read more

Italian Vega light launcher hits double figures as it completes its 10th launch attempt

Lifting off from the ELA-1 launch pad, Kourou, French Guiana, an Italian-built, Arianespace marketed, Vega light-launcher carried two Israeli-built Earth Read more

NASA loses its administrator Jim Bridenstine…as UK Space Agency’s loses CEO Graham Turnock & ESA Head Jan Woerner leaves early

For very different reasons, two major space agencies confirmed in January that they were losing their leaders with another declaring Read more

ESA finally commits to reusable Italian-led Space Rider “space plane” prototype…as it also plans reusable rocket stage

On 9 December 2020 ESA (European Space Agency) placed an order with Italian suppliers for an reusable lifting body called Read more

ESA orders ROSE-L spacecraft from Thales Alenia Space with Airbus DS building the radar

ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed a €482 million (US$586 million) contract to develop the Radar Observation System for Europe Read more

ESA awards first Earth observation Scout-class mission to GomSpace and RAL Space

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded the first of its "Scout" missions which aim to use small sats to Read more

ClearSpace SA receives ESA contract to develop its first debris removal mission

On 26 November a team led by ClearSpace SA has been awarded an satellite development contract, valued at EUR€86m (US$102.4m). Read more

AAC Clyde Space to build and operate 10-unit CubeSat constellation funded by ESA and UK Space Agency

AAC Clyde Space has won an ESA contract for the xSPANCION programme, as announced on 18 November. xSPANCION intends to orbit 10 CubeSat-class spacecraft Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website

Categories

Archives