EXPLORING VENUS WITH THE VERITAS MISSION (Invited Presentation)
VERITAS will answer science questions that include rocky planet evolution, active processes, and the role of past and present water in the geologic evolution of Venus. Despite the many differences between Venus and Earth, Venus is an important analog to study processes active on early Earth including understanding the initiation of plate tectonics and the formation of continents. The measurements that will be made by VERTIAS aim to understand how Venus evolved to its current geologic state, which includes characterizing currently active processes. The mission will make several types of measurements, including collecting high resolution X-band radar images of the surface, topography, and interferometric synthetic aperture radar data using the VISAR (Venus Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) radar instrument. These data will be used to address questions regarding current volcanic activity and whether there is evidence for ongoing subduction. The VEM (Venus Emissivity Mapper) is a near infrared spectral imager that will measure the surface rock type to help reveal the role of water in the geologic evolution of Venus’ continent-like tesserae. Gravity science is accomplished using the Ka-band radio and includes making improved measurements of the Venus gravity field and determination of the tidal love number to investigate the deep interior.