EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The EnVision Mission to Venus

Thomas Widemann1, Richard Ghail2, Colin Wilson3,4, Dmitri Titov4, Anne Grete Straume4, Adriana Ocampo5, Tatiana Bocanegra-Bahamon6, Lorenzo Bruzzone7, Bruce Campbell8, Lynn Carter9, Caroline Dumoulin10, Gabriella Gilli11, Jörn Helbert12, Scott Hensley6, Walter Kiefer13, Emmanuel Marcq14, Philippa Mason15, Alberto Moreira16, and Ann Carine Vandaele17
Thomas Widemann et al.
  • 1CNRS Paris Observatory, LESIA, Meudon, France (
  • 2Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
  • 3University of Oxford, UK
  • 4ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
  • 5NASA HQ, Washington, DC, USA
  • 6Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 7Università di Trento, Italy
  • 8Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
  • 9Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, AZ, USA
  • 10LPG, Université de Nantes, France
  • 11Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Granada, Spain
  • 12DLR Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany
  • 13Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, USA
  • 14LATMOS, IPSL, Guyancourt, France
  • 15Imperial College London, UK
  • 16DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 17Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium

On June 10, 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the selection of EnVision as its newest medium-class science mission. EnVision's overarching science questions are to explore the full range of geoscientific processes operating on Venus [1, 2]. It will investigate Venus from its inner core to its atmosphere at an unprecedented scale of resolution, characterising in particular core and mantle structure, signs of past geologic processes, and looking for evidence of past liquid water. Recent modeling studies strongly suggest that the evolution of the atmosphere and interior of Venus are coupled, emphasizing the need to study the atmosphere, surface, and interior of Venus as a system. The nominal science phase of the mission will last six Venus sidereal days (four Earth years). EnVision will downlink 210 Tbits of science data, using a Ka-/X-band comms system with a 2.5 m diameter fixed high-gain antenna. As a key partner in the mission, NASA provides the Synthetic Aperture Radar, VenSAR.

The EnVision payload consists of five instruments provided by European and US institutions. The five instruments comprise a comprehensive measurement suite spanning infrared, ultraviolet-visible, microwave and high frequency wavelengths. This suite is complemented by the Radio Science investigation exploiting the spacecraft TT&C system. All instruments in the payload have substantial heritage and robust margins relative to the requirements with designs suitable for operation in the Venus environment. This suite of instruments was chosen to meet the broad spectrum of measurement requirements needed to support EnVision science investigations. Two parallel competitive industrial studies will continue in the Definition Phase B1, to complete trade-offs, consolidate requirements and interfaces, produce system specifications,  support development of the science operations, calibration strategies, science products definition under the responsibility of the Future Missions Department (SCI-F) and under the authority of the EnVision Study Manager until Mission Adoption Review (MAR) scheduled in 2024. 

[1] ESA's EnVision Assessment Study Report: [2] EnVision mission website:

How to cite: Widemann, T., Ghail, R., Wilson, C., Titov, D., Straume, A. G., Ocampo, A., Bocanegra-Bahamon, T., Bruzzone, L., Campbell, B., Carter, L., Dumoulin, C., Gilli, G., Helbert, J., Hensley, S., Kiefer, W., Marcq, E., Mason, P., Moreira, A., and Vandaele, A. C.: The EnVision Mission to Venus, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8391,, 2022.