Encyclopedia Astronautica
Manned Venus Orbiting Mission



zvenman2.jpg
Venus Manned SC
Manned Venus Orbiting Mission
Credit: NASA
zvenmann.jpg
Venus Manned SC
Manned Venus Orbiting Mission
Credit: NASA
American manned Venus orbiter. A 1967 a NASA study examined requirements for a manned Venus orbiter. It concluded such a mission could be mounted by 1975 using Apollo technology.

The study looked at a manned orbiting stopover round-trip mission to Venus in the 1975 to 1980 time period. A typical trip in 1980 had the following characteristics:

  • Total trip time: 565 days
  • Stay time at Venus: 40 days
  • Earth atmosphere entry velocity: 47,000 fps
  • Venus parking orbit: Periapase, 1.1 Venus radii; Apoapse: 20.9 Venus radii.
  • Time below 3 Venus radii: 2 days
  • Initial weight in Earth orbit with Apollo level of technology: 800,000 to 1.4 million pounds depending on launch opportunity and mission profile.
  • Essential to achieving low initial weights was a highly elliptical (e=0.9) parking orbit at Venus.
  • The elliptic parking orbit might adversely affect information gathering. Further study of the best tradeoffs between parking orbit ellipiticity , stay time at Venus, and weight of observation equipment was required.
  • A Venus mission could be accomplished using Apollo level technology. S II stages could possibly be used for the Earth departure maneuver.
  • One new stage using Earth-storable propellants was required for the Venus arrival and departure maneuvers.
  • While the Venus orbiting mission could be accomplished using the Apollo level of technology, reductions in weight were possible using advanced propulsion. For example, using a nuclear rocket stage for the Earth departure maneuver could reduce the initial gross weight by 30 percent. If, in addition, OF2-CH4 stages were used for the maneuvers to arrive and depart Venus, a total weight reduction of 50% was possible.
  • A single vehicle design for the 1980 launch opportunity could accomplish the Venus mission in any other synodic period.
  • To accomplish a Mars orbiting mission in the easiest year would require a vehicle 70% heavier than that for the Venus orbiting mission in the most difficult year. The disparity could be much larger in other years.
The manned Venus spacecraft had a total mass of 120,000 pounds, further broken down as follows:
  • Earth Re-entry vehicle (included crew and stored data - the mass matches an Apollo CM, but the sketch of the design shows a lifting body with two vertical stabilizers): 14,000 lbs
  • Life Support module: 66,000 lbs + 50 lbs/day consumables
  • Scientific payload to Venus orbit: 30,000 lbs
  • Venus atmospheric entry probes:10,000 lbs

Gross mass: 54,400 kg (119,900 lb).
Height: 28.00 m (91.00 ft).
Diameter: 6.90 m (22.60 ft).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Bibliography
  • NASA Report, Manned Venus Orbiting Mission, Web Address when accessed: here.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use