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Russia eyes scientific mission to Venus

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 29, 2011

A leading Russian firm specializing in automated probes is preparing a mission to Venus. Planned for 2016, its mission is to study the planet’s turbulent atmosphere and surface, and find out why it has no water.

The preparation work on the spacecraft has started even though the contract for it has not yet been signed, told head and chief designer of the Lavochkin construction bureau Viktor Kharnov.

The Venera-D (Venus-D) station is to be launched in December 2016 and delivered to Venusian orbit in May 2017. It will be carried by a heavy Proton-M or Angara-A5 rocket.

The orbiting craft will launch a lander module and two atmospheric probes, which will gather samples of the atmosphere at altitudes of 55-60 km and 45-50 km. The orbiter will have scientific instruments of its own and will also relay data from the probes and the lander to Earth.

The mission is to study in detail the chemical composition of Venus’ atmosphere and soil, as well as the dynamics of its strong winds. The lander and probes will work for up to several days before corrosion damages them. The orbiter’s life is expected to be much longer.



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