EnVision ESA Mission | The LPG team, scientific leader of the Radio Science experiment

Selected by ESA's Science Program Committee, the EnVision space mission will be launched in 2032. It will be the fifth medium-class mission of the Cosmic Vision plan. This orbiter to the planet Venus will focus on determining how and why this planet has evolved so differently from Earth.

globe venus
The interior of Venus - Crédit : Calvin J. Hamilton

The scientific objectives of the EnVision mission are mainly to determine the sequence of events that generated the regional and global features of the Venus surface, to characterize the regional and local geological units, and to determine the crustal support mechanisms, the mantle and core properties. It will also characterize the geodynamic framework that controls internal heat release throughout the history of Venus, and assess whether oceans were present on Venus in the past.
In addition, EnVision will use a number of different techniques to determine if the planet is active today.

EnVision will benefit from a significant contribution and potential sharing of responsibilities with NASA, notably through the supply of the Venus Synthetic Aperture Radar (VenSAR). NASA has also selected two missions to study Venus, the VERITAS and DAVINCI+ missions, which are scheduled to launch between 2028 and 2030.

In addition to CNES, several French laboratories will be involved in this new mission to Venus: the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique (LPG), the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), the Laboratoire Atmosphères, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), the Laboratoire d'études spatiales et d'instrumentation en astrophysique (LESIA), and the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD).


The team responsible for the Radio-Science on EnVision is led from the LPG by Caroline Dumoulin, lecturer and Pascal Rosenblatt, contractual researcher.

Radio-Science includes two experiments:

- a gravity experiment to determine the radial structure (core size, mantle viscosity) via the tidal deformation signature in the gravity field, as well as the structure of the upper envelopes (crust, lithosphere) via gravity field anomalies and topography.

- a radio occultation experiment to probe the physical structure of the atmosphere (temperature, pressure) as well as its sulfuric acid content (gas and liquid) thanks to the bending and attenuation of the radio link between the probe and the terrestrial antenna when the probe passes behind Venus with respect to the Earth.

The Radio-Science team also includes researchers from Germany (University of Cologne, RIU), Italy (Sapienza University of Rome), France (CNES, LMD) and the United States (Boston University).


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