Large Mission

The large mission would have a dedicated launch vehicle. The cruise vehicle would drop a survey craft before becoming a Venus orbiter as a communications relay back to Earth. The large mission survey craft would be 100 to 200 kg in mass, with a instrument suite on order of 20 kg.

The large mission survey craft is envisioned as a large balloon that would float in Venus’ temperate cloud layers for a few months, envisioned as a larger, longer-lived version of the Vega balloon mission with a more complex payload. The primary science goal is to measure abundances of gases, identify any complex organics that can be attributed to life via a mass spectrometer, and search for life by way of microscope that would examine concentrated contents of liquid droplets with UV fluorescence to identify any unusual components that might be attributed to life.

Venus Cloud Life Mission