Lunar and Planetary Institute

Workshop on Venus Geochemistry: Progress, Prospects, and New Missions  February 23-24, 2009   Houston, Texas




Lunar and Planetary Institute
NASA Science Mission Directorate
NASA Mars Exploration Program

Allan Treiman,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
Adriana Ocampo,
   NASA Science Mission Directorate
Ellen Stofan,
   Proxemy, VEXAG
Stephen Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute

Science Organizing

Allan Treiman,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
Linda Elkins-Tanton,
   Massachusetts Institute of Technology
George Hashimoto,
   Kobe University
Natasha Johnson,
   NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Eric Essene,
   University of Michigan
Stephen Mackwell,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute





The Workshop on Venus Geochemistry: Progress, Prospects, and New Missions will be held February 26–27, 2009, at the Gilruth Center at NASA Johnson Space Center. The workshop will be held after the general VEXAG meeting, planned for Wednesday, February 25, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Invited presentations include plenary addresses by Dr. M. Marov on the Soviet Venus mission, Dr. J. Helbert on Venus Express results, and Dr. D. Grinspoon on the importance of Venus and of new spacecraft missions.


February 26–27, 2009
Houston, Texas


Although Venus is the “Terra Incognita” of the inner solar system, it is supremely important for understanding the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets. Venus, which is Earth’s twin in size (and possibly bulk composition), is fundamentally different in its surface geology, tectonics and internal processes, and atmosphere composition and dynamics. These differences contain clues to the evolution of Earth’s geology/climate system, Earth’s current habitability, and the detectability and habitability of planets circling other stars.

Our understanding of Venus’ origins and evolution is hampered by the dearth of data about its surface. The few images and chemical analyses from the Venera and VEGA landers (crucial but limited) show that Venus’ lowland plains are basaltic, with some unusual (and unexplained) compositions. To date, we know nothing of the geochemistry of Venus’ highlands, central volcanos, coronae, domes, etc. Venus’ atmosphere provides significant constraints on its history (e.g., noble gases and light isotopes), but its chemical interactions with surface materials are poorly constrained.


Given the limited knowledge about Venus’ geochemistry, along with NASA’s interest in Venus, as demonstrated in the recent Venus Science and Technology Definition Team study, the Venus Geochemistry workshop has several objectives:

  • to assess current knowledge of Venus’ geochemistry
  • to consider Earth-based investigations (laboratory and theoretical) that will enhance understanding of current data and enable future investigations
  • to explore concepts for spacecraft instruments and missions that will increase knowledge of Venus’ geochemistry
  • to energize and reconstitute the Venus geochemistry community in preparation for future spacecraft investigations

To support these objectives, the workshop sessions will focus on:

  • present knowledge of Venus’ geochemistry: atmosphere, surface, mantle core, and whole planet
  • chemical interactions between Venus’ surface and atmosphere
  • laboratory investigations (solids, fluids, gases) to further understanding of Venus’ geochemistry
  • recent Venus missions and remote sensing of its surface and interior
  • geochemistry on future missions to Venus: concepts, investigations, and instruments


The workshop will include invited and contributed talks and contributed poster presentations. Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes including discussion. Plenary lectures will be 30 minutes including discussion. Oral sessions will start Thursday morning, February 26, and continue through Friday, February 27. On Thursday evening there will be a reception and poster session.

A general VEXAG meeting is planned for Wednesday, February 25, 2009, before the workshop.

The program with abstracts is now available.


This workshop opportunity will be offered free of charge, but participants are strongly encouraged to register in advance to ensure that all meeting-related logistics are handled properly and adequate seating is available.

Please submit the electronic registration form by February 11, 2009.



Participants are responsible for making their own travel and hotel reservations. For your convenience, a list of local hotels and a local area map showing their locations are provided.




For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, contact

Allan Treiman
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone: 281-486-2117

For further information regarding meeting logistics, please contact

Kimberly Taylor
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2151

For further information regarding registration, please contact

Linda Tanner
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142

  February 11, 2009  

Deadline for registration to ensure
adequate space is available

  February 25, 2009  
VEXAG meeting
  February 26–27, 2009  

Workshop on Venus Geochemistry: Progress, Prospects,
and New Missions
in Houston, Texas



Back to Venus 2009 Main Page    |    Back to Upcoming Meetings Page