ESA EnVision Aerobraking In Venus Atmosphere

The EnVision mission of the European Space Agency Venus is planned to take high-resolution optical, spectral, and radar photographs of the planet’s surface.

According to EnVision study manager Thomas Voirin, “EnVision as currently designed cannot take place without this significant aerobraking phase.

The spacecraft will be launched into Venus orbit at a very high altitude, over 250,000 km, before descending to a polar orbit at a 500 km altitude for science operations.

We cannot afford to use all the additional propellant necessary to decrease our orbit while flying on an Ariane 62.

Instead, we will gradually slow down by making multiple passes through Venus’ upper atmosphere, going as close to the planet as 130 km.