Scientists Chosen to Help on Venus Climate Orbiter

This global view of the surface of Venus is centered at 180 degrees east longitude. This global view of the surface of Venus is centered at 180 degrees east longitude. Image credit: NASA/JPL
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November 19, 2010

NASA has established a Venus Climate Orbiter Participating Scientist Program to complement scientific return of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)-led Venus Climate Orbiter, or "Akatsuki" mission. The Participating Scientist Program will fund two scientists in residence to live in Japan and five Participating Scientists to conduct joint research with the Venus Climate Orbiter science team.
Based on peer-reviewed proposals submitted to NASA, NASA and JAXA are pleased to announce the following joint selections of U.S. Participating Scientists:

Participating Scientist in Residence
Name: Sanjay S. Limaye
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Proposal Title: Investigation of the Venus weather as a Participating Scientist in

Name: Kevin McGouldrick
Affiliation: University of Colorado, Boulder
Proposal Title: Combined theoretical and observational multi-disciplinary analysis
of the structure and evolution of the clouds and hazes of Venus

Participating Scientist
Name: Charles H. Acton
Affiliation: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Proposal Title: SPICE for Venus Climate Orbiter

Name: Ralph D. Lorenz
Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
Proposal Title: Venus Atmosphere Studies with the Akatsuki Lightning Camera

Name: Gerald Schubert
Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles
Proposal Title: Modeling Venus atmospheric dynamics with data from the
Venus Climate Orbiter (Akatsuki)

Name: Eliot F. Young
Affiliation: Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Proposal Title: Identifying cloud properties and altitude: spectral image cubes to
accompany Akatsuki image data

Name: Mark A. Bullock
Affiliation: Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio
Proposal Title: Observational and theoretical constraints on current Venus
volcanism from Akatsuki UV and IR imaging

Akatsuki was launched on May 21, 2010 (Japan Standard Time, JST) and is Japan's first mission to Venus. The spacecraft will arrive at Venus on Dec. 7, 2010, and will follow the Venus westward rotation of the atmosphere, mapping the circulation, evolution and vertical structure of the planet's thick clouds.

The three-dimensional structure of the Venusian atmosphere and its temporal variation will be observed by using the Akatsuki spacecraft's imaging cameras (from the ultraviolet to thermal infrared wavelengths), a high-speed lightning detector and radio occultation techniques that will penetrate the thick Venusian atmosphere. Akatsuki's systematic and continuous observations from a quasi-equatorial orbit will provide a complete dataset of atmospheric dynamics.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and JAXA launched Akasutki aboard H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 17 (H-IIA F17) at 6:58:22 a.m. on May 21, 2010 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The mission lifespan in Venus orbit is approximately two Earth years.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit: .

More information about JAXA's Venus Climate Orbiter is at: .

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


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