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EnVision is a European Space Agency (ESA) Venus orbiter, set to launch in the early 2030’s. A medium-class mission, EnVision is designed to study volcanic gases in the atmosphere, atmosphere-surface interactions, surface composition, and the interior structure of Venus, and will return high-resolution radar images of the surface. EnVision has three primary science objectives, to answer the questions: 1) Is Venus geodynamically active; 2) How did Venus arrive at its current state?; and 3) How does the Venus climate work and how do the interior, surface, and atmosphere interact?

EnVision, according to the assessment study report, will be a roughly 2 m x 2 m x 3m in its stowed configuration. Total dry mass is about 1350 kg. The spacecraft will have 2 solar array wings, producing 2800 W of power at Venus. It will be three-axis stabilized, with a fixed 2.5 m high-gain dish antenna for communications in Ka/X-band. The spacecraft will carry six primary science instruments. The VenSpec (Venus Spectrometer) suite carries three of these: VenSpec-M, for infrared (IR) multichannel spectroscopy; VenSpec-H, a higher-resolution IR spectrometer; and VenSpec-U, an ultraviolet spectrometer. It also carries a Venus Synthetic Aperture Radar (VenSAR), a Subsurface Radar Sounder (SRS), and a Radio Science Experiment.

The current mission profile (subject to change as the mission plan evolves) is for launch on an Ariane 6 in its dual-booster configuration, no earlier than 2031. After a 15-month cruise, EnVision will go into a highly elliptical orbit around Venus. Using aerobraking over a 16-month period, the spacecraft will end up in a 92-minute quasi-polar orbit with an altitude ranging from 220 km to 540 km. The nominal science mission will last about 4 Earth years.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 
    Launch Vehicle: Ariane 6
    Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
    Mass: 1350 kg
    Nominal Power: 2800 W

    Funding Agency

    • European Space Agency (International)


    • Planetary Science

    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Mr. Richard C. GhailMission ScientistUniversity of
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