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    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions

    Big_Gazza
    Big_Gazza

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    Post  Big_Gazza Thu May 20, 2021 5:01 am

    It might not be a Russian mission, but its well worth celebrating!!!

    First images from the Chinese Zhurong lander on Mars

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 6787069

    Finally, images from the surface of Mars that were not taken from a US spacecraft Very Happy

    I'm not criticising NASA who i think do a superlative job, but this event can't fail to knock a little wind out of the sails of murican Chinaphobes....

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    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible Thu May 20, 2021 6:51 am

    Well, there is Soviet Mars 3 that had taken pictures in 1971. Grainy though.
    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Thu May 20, 2021 10:10 am

    miketheterrible wrote:Well, there is Soviet Mars 3 that had taken pictures in 1971. Grainy though.

    It returned a partial picture only, no details visible, and the transmission was cut after ~20 secs, probably as the Mars-3 orbiter dropped below the landers local horizon so the relay to Earth was lost. The orbiter had suffered a fuel leak in the cruise and lacked the deltaV to enter the planned 24hr orbit, and ended up shooting past the planet into a looping 14 day orbit. As its speed was higher than expected it swept past Mars much earlier than planned so the inital science upload was lost, and by the time it returned over the landing site the landers batteries were long dead...

    The Mars-3 was equipped with a mechanical scan panorama camera, and it only returned ~70 lines before the comms loss.  Light levels were also low due to a raging duststorm...

    So near yet so far....    cry   but still an impressive achievement given that it was only a little over 14 years after the launch of Sputnik.  Its a pity that the follow up armada of Mars 4-7 largely failed due to faulty control chips, because after the Viking landings the Soviets were never going to persevere with the M71/M73 spacecraft series, and now we'll never what kind of images these old landers might have returned.

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Mars_310

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    Daniel_Admassu

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    Post  Daniel_Admassu Thu May 20, 2021 12:14 pm

    My favorite is the images from Venera 9. Those were relatively clear and really a big deal considering the venusian atmospheric and surface conditions.

    However expensive manned missions are, no probe can replace human presence in any exploration. I agree that current chemical rocket tech is what is holding everything back. Let's just hope that the nuclear tug project will give not just Russia but humanity the edge again. Any official timeframe?

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    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Thu May 20, 2021 12:28 pm

    Daniel_Admassu wrote:My favorite is the images from Venera 9. Those were relatively clear and really a big deal considering the venusian atmospheric and surface conditions.

    However expensive manned missions are, no probe can replace human presence in any exploration. I agree that current chemical rocket tech is what is holding everything back. Let's just hope that the nuclear tug project will give not just Russia but humanity the edge again. Any official timeframe?

    The Venera 9 image was the first image taken from the surface of another planet. It is a deeply historical picture, but given that was by the Soviets, the tendancy in the West has been to ignore the achivement.

    Modern digital processing really brings out images that the original releases (photos of hardcopy prints) just didn't convey. Too bad that the 2nd camera didn't return an image (due to the lens cap not coming off when commanded)

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Venera10

    Venus is however one of those places where humans will never step (at least if they want to avoid a very unpleasent demise). Io is another, but for different reasons. Laughing

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    Daniel_Admassu

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    Post  Daniel_Admassu Thu May 20, 2021 12:48 pm

    Good pics. I have also came across a colorized one. I am not sure which expedition it was from. Probably Venera 14,
    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Venera10

    A camera lens cap also blocked a soil drill in one probe. What is it with Soviet Venus missions and camera caps?
    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Thu May 20, 2021 3:31 pm

    I hate to say this, but that image is a photshop comprised of bits of the Venera 13 footage and filled out with created content.  The author (Don P Mitchell) made it as an example of what the terrain would generally look like.

    The ones below are the best versions I've seen of projecting the imagery (V14 in this case) as true panoramas.  These 3 guys are truly wizards when it comes to processing of spacecraft imagery!

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Venera11

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Venera12

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    thegopnik
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    Post  thegopnik Thu May 20, 2021 4:11 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Daniel_Admassu wrote:My favorite is the images from Venera 9. Those were relatively clear and really a big deal considering the venusian atmospheric and surface conditions.

    However expensive manned missions are, no probe can replace human presence in any exploration. I agree that current chemical rocket tech is what is holding everything back. Let's just hope that the nuclear tug project will give not just Russia but humanity the edge again. Any official timeframe?

    The Venera 9 image was the first image taken from the surface of another planet.  It is a deeply historical picture, but given that was by the Soviets, the tendancy in the West has been to ignore the achivement.

    Modern digital processing really brings out images that the original releases (photos of hardcopy prints) just didn't convey.  Too bad that the 2nd camera didn't return an image (due to the lens cap not coming off when commanded)

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Venera10

    Venus is however one of those places where humans will never step (at least if they want to avoid a very unpleasent demise).  Io is another, but for different reasons.  Laughing

    I have heard that somewhere in the atmosphere humans can live with the right temperature, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. just got to keep the rocket floating for an astronaut to ride around in a blimp or something.
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    Post  Daniel_Admassu Thu May 20, 2021 5:36 pm

    The atmosphere is thick enough to let a habitat float with a reasonable size balloon. When the Soviets first sent the first probe, it was equipped with a small parachute they estimated was required. From the subsequent altimeter, barometric and timing data, they would later discover that the Venusian atmosphere was much thicker than they thought and they didn't need a parachute at all. The next probes, with all their armored pressure hulls, just floated down without any added drag.

    A human habitat may be able to float at a desired altitude. The challenges are the corrosive gases and electrical storms in the atmosphere. Not really worth tackling for human settlement purposes but I guess doable for a science outpost.

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    TMA1
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    Post  TMA1 Fri May 21, 2021 7:02 am

    The russian venera probes were incredible feats. The atmosphere is so thick it is supercritical and is more like a fluid.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Fri May 21, 2021 11:59 am

    Imagine one day engineering a bacteria that could survive on the surface of Venus... the acidity, the air pressure, and the temperature... it is not actually that much different from a deep ocean volcanic vent where temperature and pressure and acidity are not that much different... send a probe down to collect bacteria that survive there and modify them to convert the various chemicals into oxygen or process the chemicals found in the lower atmosphere of Venus into chemicals that will allow the heat of the planet to escape into space.

    Not that I think terraforming would be quick or easy or even possible, but it might be possible to reduce the temperatures and pressures and acidity to something more tolerable even if you have to remain in the clouds.
    kvs
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    Post  kvs Fri May 21, 2021 2:41 pm

    The extremophile bacteria that live in vents and deeper in the crust do not survive where the temperatures are higher than 130 C.
    Sub 100 C temperatures are preferred by these bacteria. Ocean volcanic vents have temperatures from 60 C to 400 C, but the latter
    are not colonized with bacteria.

    https://ocean.si.edu/ecosystems/deep-sea/microbes-keep-hydrothermal-vents-pumping

    The surface temperature on Venus is over 425 Celsius. The pressure is about 93 atmospheres but that is equivalent to 900 meters
    under the ocean surface so not an issue. The problem with Venus is that it has lost most of its water to space. At some stage
    it bifurcated into a perpetual hot house regime instead of sequestering CO2 as carbonate rock. Before the epoch of O2 generating
    organisms, there would have been lots of reduced calcium ions in the ocean water which would react with cabonic acid to for CaCO3
    which is not very soluble and precipitates. Of course, things had to cool down enough for oceans to form. On Venus this did not
    happen.

    Venus may have a similar size to Earth, but it more than likely has a different chemical composition since the dust in the primordial
    solar system disk differentiates in properties depending on its distance from the Sun. It is possible that Venus did not have enough
    initial H2O to form oceans. The faint young Sun meant that Venus had 30% less solar heating during the critical early stage, so
    its orbit (0.7 AU) is not the cause of its hot house regime.

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    George1
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    Post  George1 Fri May 21, 2021 2:55 pm

    why not a new Venera mission?

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    kvs
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    Post  kvs Fri May 21, 2021 3:02 pm

    George1 wrote:why not a new Venera mission?

    There was some discussion of designing a lander that would survive 24 hours. It would use high temperature electronics (e.g. silicon nitride based)
    and active cooling. But no concrete program was established. I think it would be a good idea to focus on Venus instead of Mars. The technology
    benefits of aiming at Venus are higher in my opinion.

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    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Sat May 22, 2021 4:14 am

    George1 wrote:why not a new Venera mission?

    Venera-D is still alive. No longer a prospective joint US-Russia misison ( Laughing Laughing Laughing as if that was ever going to happen...) Roskosmos is looking to go it alone and has kicked off a contract for design proposal.

    Roskosmos has allocated more than 318 million rubles for the development of a technical proposal for the Venera-D project

    The work will be carried out on the basis of the draft roadmap for the start of work on the Venus exploration program, approved by the Russian Academy of Sciences and Roscosmos. The work is expected to be completed by February 28, 2023.

    By this time, the feasibility of the mission and possible design solutions should be justified, ensuring the study of the atmosphere, surface, internal structure and surrounding plasma of Venus at the modern level, a study of the possibility of returning to Earth samples of soil, atmosphere and aerosols of Venus, and a technical project tasks for the space complex for the study of Venus "Venus-D".

    "The composition of the Venera-D space complex should be determined at the stage of the technical proposal, based on the use of existing and developed in Russia ILV [space rocket] of the heavy class (PH [launch vehicle] Angara-A5" with RB [upper stage ] DM-03) ", - says the terms of reference. It is specified that the launch of the spacecraft should be carried out in 2029.

    source

    Zaks website has some details, but he reverts to his usual sky-is-falling political nonsense in shitcanning Russian space while pretending to be an objective space journalist.  I'll just post the graphic from his site and omit the Atlantacist hate-puke.

    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Venera_d_architecture_1

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    Daniel_Admassu

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    Post  Daniel_Admassu Sat May 22, 2021 4:56 am

    Good to know that there still is a program for Venus. But all these timetables make me cringe my teeth. 2023 for the completion of a feasibility study of something conceived a while back? There are times I agree with Vann7. Roscosmos is seriously underfunded.

    Come on guys, Russia isn't that poor. What is holding other 'middle of the table' nations such as UAE isn't this kind of money but lack of infrastructural capacity and the pool of expertise, which Russia already has. In this age of open markets it won't be long when they will buy the human resources they need, at least to start with, while they build their spaceports and train their kids. Roscosmos will then find itself among a whole new competition, not China and the US. Russia needs to up its game.

    kvs
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    Post  kvs Sat May 22, 2021 5:19 am

    Clearly space "exploration" consists of national vanity projects. Russia does not need to engage in this rubbish.

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    Post  Daniel_Admassu Sat May 22, 2021 7:38 am

    Well exploration, experimentation or theoretical analysis are all subsets of science. And science is justified for its own sake. Usually applications arise based on it. But that is not why men do science. You look at scientific results and come up with applied technology. Not the other way around.

    And science usually benefits from what you call 'vanity' projects. Nations spend money to prop-up their international standing. It might not be with a benevolent intent sometimes but rather for political purposes. Nonetheless science benefits.

    You can, for instance, take the military applications of space 'exploration'. The persistent quest to improve launch propulsion efficiency may one day lead to dramatic improvement in rocket technology. Or a constant effort by your civilian engineers to improve radio telescopes may one day result in a radar aperture that is usable from geostationary orbits, keeping constant watch over any territory or being able to guide even small ordnance with pinpoint accuracy. Or small nano bots you design to replicate and build a shelter on Mars can be a huge breakthrough for medicine here on earth.

    The point is a challenging endeavor such as space affords science an opportunity in ingenuity like no other. If you have the infrastructure and skilled manpower, you are essentially out of excuse to back down on exploration.
    PapaDragon
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    Post  PapaDragon Sat May 22, 2021 2:52 pm

    kvs wrote:Clearly space "exploration" consists of national vanity projects. Russia does not need to engage in this rubbish.


    Had they been able to actually get something done you'd be singing a different tune

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    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Sat May 22, 2021 7:20 pm

    Daniel_Admassu wrote:Good to know that there still is a program for Venus. But all these timetables make me cringe my teeth. 2023 for the completion of a feasibility study of something conceived a while back? There are times I agree with Vann7. Roscosmos is seriously underfunded.

    With Venera-D no longer a joint US/Russia mission, Roskosmos will be forced to go it alone and will be denied Western components. Import substitution and domestic replacments for unobtainable equipment will add time and cost, and Roskosmos must develop a plan for the necessary R&D and manufacturing startups.

    Why do you think there have been so much delay in the past to Russian space science projects? Its not that Russians are incompetent or have no money (though I would certainly agree that the feds have been stingy when comes to funding). Supply chain issues are IMHO the dominant factor. Soviet-era solutions are unavailable after the collapse of the old supply chains (and are essentialy obsolete in any case) and imported solutions represent unacceptable vulnerability that ruthless bastards in the US & EU have leveraged against numerous times to sabotage Russian science missions.

    Russia is a nation that faces an ongoing multi-pronged attack by foreign nations that seek to roll-back her attempts at asserting her independence and soveignty. Russia has many vital things that require funding, and to be frank, space science comes pretty low on the list. Russian space budget needs to go to practical infrastructural developement that gives real world capabilities - launchers, cosmodromes, new generation manned vehicles, ISS replacement station, nuclear propulsion. The available space science budget comprises the Spektr-series observatories and the Luna explorers, as well as co-operative misisons like Exo-Mars. Venera-D is a worthy addition, but its clear the gov won't sacrifice other ventures to fast-track a 21st century repeat of Soviet-era achievements.
    kvs
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    Post  kvs Sat May 22, 2021 8:12 pm

    Russia does not need to dance to the tune of its critics. Trying to foist some vanity projects on Russia as an imbecilic requirement to
    prove its worth is assuming that Russians are total morons. A common problem on the part of Russia's enemies who never learn from
    history.

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    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible Sat May 22, 2021 8:32 pm

    kvs wrote:Russia does not need to dance to the tune of its critics.   Trying to foist some vanity projects on Russia as an imbecilic requirement to
    prove its worth is assuming that Russians are total morons.    A common problem on the part of Russia's enemies who never learn from
    history.


    It's a waste of money
    GarryB
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    Roscosmos Planetary Exploration Missions - Page 6 Empty First images from the Chinese Zhurong lander on Mars

    Post  GarryB Sun May 23, 2021 2:03 am

    Russia needs to spend its money wisely in areas where there is a serious return that can be used to make money.

    Space exploration needs to help Russia grow and develop in areas that are useful and valuable.

    Russia doesn't have the ability to just print more money if they find they need more, this money is coming out of the same budget that is supposed to make things better for Russia and Russians.

    People around the world complaining that they are not taking enough risks and are not pushing things, well get your wallet out and fund the programmes yourself.

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