Long-Lived In-Situ Solar System Explorer (LLISSE)Venus, while having similar size, mass, and location in the solar system to Earth, varies from Earth in many ways. The differences include its climate, atmosphere, and surface conditions. Surface conditions present formidable engineering challenges due to the high temperature and pressure. To date, landed missions have not been able to last more than about 2 hours on the surface . This has resulted in significant knowledge gaps about the surface conditions of this important body in the solar system. The science community has effectively no in-situ temporal data on Venus surface conditions (temperature, pressure, winds and chemistry). These data are critical for the development of a thorough understanding of Venus' weather and the processes by which chemical species interact with each other, and are transported throughout the atmospheric column. This will help understand aspects of the atmosphere/planet interactions such as momentum exchange. To date, no capability has been available to enable a long lived surface probe to make these kinds of measurements. However, recently developed Silicon Carbide based electronics, sensors, and other technologies have matured to a state where a simple, but powerful long-life scientific probe would be feasible for Venus. It is now possible to directly qualify the durability and functionality of these components in a simulated Venus surface environment and demonstrate the ability to return valuable scientific data.
Kremic, Tibor (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hunter, Gary W. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Nero, Linda (Alcyon Technical Services-JV, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)