BYU Space Instruments & Applications 1.Optical properties of matter from visible to x-rays & 2. Mars Group 3. Nanotubes for space Outline: Venus Express What does the EUV and thin film group do? Optical properties of matter from visible to xrays: – Current projects: U and thorium as EUV reflectors. – Understanding light scattering in the EUV. – VUV light for cleaning and oxidation. Mars Group? – Student initiated projects: plants in high CO2 environment. Optical properties of rocks for endoliths – MDRS & Musk observatory support. Venus Express ESA: follow on to Mars Express. to launch Nov. 9 What is it? Why? http://edition.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/1 0/24/venus/ -ton spacecraft scheduled to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz-Fregat rocket. The mission hopes to solve is why a planet so similar to Earth in size, mass and composition has evolved so differently. http://space.com/businesstechnology/051026_techwed_venusexp.html Unlike the Magellan probe, which used radar to generate a surface map, Venus Express has its sights set on the planet’s thick, turbulent and toxic atmosphere. “Venus Express does not have the same mission as Magellan, aside from the clear objective of studying Venus,” McCoy said. “[Ours] is an orbiter designed to study the atmosphere globally over a long period, whereas Magellan was designed to study the surface.” Among other things, researchers hope to understand what role the “greenhouse effect” of trapped carbon dioxide, water vapor and sulphuric aerosols gases played in the heating of Venus’ atmosphere to its current average surface temperature of about 869 degrees Fahrenheit (465 degree Celsius). To perform its mission, Venus Express carries three spectrometers, one magnetometer, a high-resolution camera, radio tools and a plasma-watching instrument dubbed ASPERA similar to one aboard Mars Express. What does this have to do with BYU? Student mirror goes to Venus When BYU student Sarah Barton was a little girl, she dreamed of assisting in space exploration. Now the physics major has helped design a mirror that will orbit the planet Venus. The European Space Agency solicited the help of BYU in designing the mirror, which will be onboard the Venus Express spacecraft as it launches Oct. 26 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Barton and a team of fellow students created the mirror under the direction of David Allred, professor of physics and project advisor. http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/57113 “It’s really cool knowing that something you made is going to space,” Barton said. “Not everyone gets to do that.” The project was the first for Barton, who volunteered for the task with a limited physics background. She learned about the project in an introductory class by Allred. How did this happen? IMAGE Satellite EUV instrument.