The Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission described herein has been selected for flight to Venus as part of the NASA Discovery Program. DAVINCI will be the first mission to Venus to incorporate science-driven flybys and an instrumented descent sphere into a unified architecture. The anticipated scientific outcome will be a new understanding of the atmosphere, surface, and evolutionary path of Venus as a possibly once-habitable planet and analog to hot terrestrial exoplanets. The primary mission design for DAVINCI as selected features a preferred launch in summer/fall 2029, two flybys in 2030, and descent-sphere atmospheric entry by the end of 2031. The in situ atmospheric descent phase subsequently delivers definitive chemical and isotopic composition of the Venus atmosphere during an atmospheric transect above Alpha Regio. These in situ investigations of the atmosphere and near-infrared (NIR) descent imaging of the surface will complement remote flyby observations of the dynamic atmosphere, cloud deck, and surface NIR emissivity. The overall mission yield will be at least 60 Gbits (compressed) new data about the atmosphere and near surface, as well as the first unique characterization of the deep atmosphere environment and chemistry, including trace gases, key stable isotopes, oxygen fugacity, constraints on local rock compositions, and topography of a tessera.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science