Venus Life Finder Missions Motivation and Summary

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 15, 2022
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Venus Life Finder Missions Motivation and Summary
Venus Life Finder

Finding evidence of extraterrestrial life would be one of the most profound scientific discoveries ever made, advancing humanity into a new epoch of cosmic awareness. The Venus Life Finder (VLF) missions feature a series of three direct atmospheric probes designed to assess the habitability of the Venusian clouds and search for signs of life and life itself.

Image: Balloon mission entry, descent, and deployment concept of operations. The 52 km fixedaltitude balloon mission is planned to be operational for one week and communicate both through an orbiter as well as direct communication to Earth. Mini probes will be deployed to sample the atmosphere below 52 km.

The VLF missions are an astrobiology-focused set of missions, and the first two out of three can be launched quickly and at a relatively low cost.

The mission concepts come out of an 18-month study by an MIT-led worldwide consortium.

Sara Seager, Janusz J. Petkowski, Christopher E. Carr, David H. Grinspoon, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Sarag J. Saikia, Rachana Agrawal, Weston P. Buchanan, Monika U. Weber, Richard French, Pete Klupar, Simon P. Worden, Darrel Baumgardner (for the VLF Collaboration)

Comments: Based on the text of the Venus Life Finder Mission Study report (arXiv:2112.05153). Published in Aerospace as a part of the Special Issue “The Search for Signs of Life on Venus: Science Objectives and Mission Designs” (this https URL)
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2208.05570 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2208.05570v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
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Journal reference: Aerospace 9.7 (2022): 385
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Submission history
From: Janusz Petkowski
[v1] Wed, 10 Aug 2022 21:40:59 UTC (597 KB)


Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻