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Venus Strategy for Exploration (1970)

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Suggested Citation:"SUMMARY." National Research Council. 1970. Venus Strategy for Exploration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12395.
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Suggested Citation:"SUMMARY." National Research Council. 1970. Venus Strategy for Exploration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12395.
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Page 2

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SUMMARY PRINCIPALRECOMMENDATIONS OF 1. We believe that the combination of scientific goals and the feasibility of contributing to these goals makes the exploration of Venus one of the most important objectives for planetary exploration in the 1970's and 1980's. And we ~ec- ommend that exploration of Venus be prominent in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration program during this period. 2. We pecommend the Delta-launched, spin-stabilized Planetary Explorer as the prime vehicle for the initial ex- ploration of Venus by orbiters, atmospheric probes, and landers. 3. We pecommend a mission strategy that will make use of the next three opportunities to launch a spacecraft to Venus and many subsequent opportunities. For the first mis- sions we indicate desirable payloads with which to obtain new data in all scientific fields. 4. In the interests of maintaining minimal cost we recommend: (a) that the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion be prepared to accept a somewhat higher risk for the Planetary Explorer than has been its practice for previous planetary missions, if substantial over-all cost savings can be achieved; (b) that experiments to be carried on early lander mis- sions emphasize simplicity of operation and, where possible, avoid manipulation and processing of surface material. 5. To ensure adequate lead time for instrument devel- opment we pecommend that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announce the existence of a series of oppor- tunities listing some of the more crucial needs. To extend the lifetime of surface instrumentation we ~ecommend that the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion undertake and support engineering research and develop- ment to provide, if possible, lander systems and experiment components able to operate at temperatures up to 800 K. 6. We give reasons for believing that the probability of growth of terrestrial organisms in the atmosphere of

2 -6 Venus is less than 10 , and we recommend that, with some pre- cautions, spacecraft be allowed to impact the planet when sci- entific benefit is to be gained thereby. 7. We recommend that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration set up and maintain a continuing planning group ror the exploration of Venus which will advise on strategy for the mission series and on conceptual payloads for each mission. 8. We point to the possibility that, in the 1980's, more elaborate spacecraft may be needed to continue the investiga- tion of Venus beyond an exploratory stage. 9. We believe that the Planetary Explorer provides a particularly good opportunity for international collaboration, and we recommend that the National Aeronautics and Space Ad- ministration actively seek collaboration of other national space organizations in planning and carrying out these inves- tigations. 10. We recommend that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration continue to support and develop earth-based studies of Venus, and we commend its past efforts in this respect. 11. We endorse the Venus/Mercury mission for the contri- bution it can make to Venus science.

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