Atmosphere of Venus

The VeSpR (Venus Spectral Rocket) Experiment
launched successfully from White Sand Missile Range.  VeSpR will
study the present day escape of water from the atmosphere of Venus and
relate it to the past abundance of water on Venus by measuring hydrogen
(H) and the heavier, slower to escape, deuterated hydrogen (D) above 90
km on Venus. The use of a pre-dispersing prism to prevent long
wavelengths from entering the spectrograph permits a long-aperture
approach to echelle spectroscopy, and the chosen combination of imaging
and dispersion scales provides high spectral resolution of emission line
profiles with a several arc sec wide aperture for good sensitivity. For
comparable spectral resolution the HST/STIS uses a 0.2 arc sec
aperture, which provides 375 times less solid angle on the sky than a 3 x
5 arc sec region observed by the sounding rocket telescope.  Good data
was obtained by both detectors with no obvious significant anomalies.
 Preliminary reports indicate a successful mission.

Sounding Rocket to Peek at Atmosphere of Venus
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission
launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Nov. 18.
Now, the Venus Spectral Rocket, VeSpR for short, is scheduled to lift
off from White Sands, N.M., on Nov. 25.
“It is appropriate that these launch dates are close together,
because both missions will study atmospheric loss,” said Kelly Fast, the
program scientist for MAVEN and the program officer for Planetary
Astronomy at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “VeSpR will peek at Venus
from above Earth’s absorbing atmosphere, and MAVEN will journey to Mars
to do a long-term study
.”

VeSpR is a two-stage system, combining a Terrier missile – originally
built as a surface-to-air missile and later repurposed to support
science missions – and a Black Brant model Mk1 sounding rocket with a
telescope inside. Integration took place at NASA’s Wallops Flight
Facility in Virginia.
The experiments will look at ultraviolet (UV) light that is being
emitted from Venus’ atmosphere, which can provide information about the
history of the planet’s water. Measurements like these cannot be done
using Earth-based telescopes because our atmosphere absorbs most UV
light before it reaches the ground.

For  more
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/sounding-rocket-to-peek-at-atmosphere-of-venus/

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