Click for full figure.
Capitalism in space: In partnership with scientists at MIT, the Planetary Science Institute, and others, Rocket Lab engineers this week published a detailed description of the company’s planned privately funded mission to Venus, presently targeting a launch in May 2023.
From the paper’s abstract:
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.
The figure above is figure 6 from the paper. It shows the probe’s planned path through Venus’s atmosphere. If the mission launches in May ’23 the probe would enter the atmosphere in October ’23.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
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