The Venus Exploration Analysis Group is NASA's community-based forum formed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the exploration of Venus over the next several decades, including a Venus surface sample return mission. VEXAG is chartered by NASA's Solar System Exploration Division and reports its findings to NASA. Open to all interested scientists, VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurement requirements, including especially recommendations in the Decadal Survey and the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap.
In addition to interested members of the scientific community, each focus group will include technology experts, NASA representatives, international partner representatives, EPO experts, and the chair. The current focus groups are listed below. Other focus groups may be added, as needed.
|Steering Committe Member||Position/Roles||Tenure|
Mount Holyoke College
|Chair, SAWs 1, 2, Listserve||November 2018–June 2022|
Applied Physics Laboratory
|Deputy Chair, SAWs 1, 2, 3, DEIA WG, NEXSS, Listserve||November 2018 – June 2022|
Goddard Space Flight Center
|At Large Member, SAW 2||July 2020–June 2023|
|At Large Member, SAWs 3, 8||July 2020–June 2023|
New Mexico State University
|At Large Member, SAW 4||September 2018–December 2021|
Arizona State University
|At Large Member, SAW 4||September 2018–December 2021|
Ohio Aerospace Institute
|Technology Focus Group Lead, SAWs 3, 7, 8||January 2020–December 2022|
North Carolina State University
|At Large Member, SAW 4||January 2020–December 2022|
|At Large Member, SAW 1||July 2018–December 2021|
|At Large Member, SAW 5||January 2020–December 2022|
Lunar and Planetary Institute
|At Large Member, SAW 10||July 2018–December 2021|
Planetary Science Institute (PSI)
|At Large Member, SAW 4, DEIA WG||September 2018–December 2021|
|At Large Member, SAW3, NEXSS, Social Media||September 2018–December 2021|
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
|At Large Member||January 2021–December 2023|
Stevens Institute of Technology
|At Large Member, SAW 5||January 2021–December 2023|
NASA Glenn Research Center
|At Large Member, SAW 5||July 2021–June 2024|
|At Large Member||July 2021–June 2024|
|Thomas (Tommy) Thompson
VEXAG Study/Science Analysis Workgroups (SAWs)
1: VEXAG Organization Documentation
Codify and simplify regular VEXAG procedures and calendar events to help future iterations of the VEXAG steering committee draw on past experience to plan recurring activities.
A single document with calendars, procedures and recommendations to be updated with experience
Darby Dyar, Noam Izenberg, Colin Wilson
Completion by the VEXAG 2020 meeting, status updates at each SC meeting
2: VEXAG 2021 Meeting
Prepare for 2021 VEXAG
The VEXAG 2020 meeting
(THE VEXAG 2021 Organization Committee Noam Izenberg, Darby Dyar, Megan Ansdell, Natasha Johnson, Tommy Thompson)
Wednesday, November 8-10, 2021 starting at mid-day on Monday and running through Wednesday
3: VEXAG “Off Season” meeting (Exoplanets in our Backyard 2)
Prepare for 2020 VEXAG off season meeting
The VEXAG off season meeting
VEXAG members: Giada Arney, Stephen Kane (VEXAG lead and co-lead of EioB 2 OC) Jeff Balcerski, Noam Izenberg. The overall lead of EioB 2’s organizing committee may be Ravi Kopparapu of GSFC.
Winter-spring 2021, status reports at each SC meeting
4: VEGASO and Exploration Target Workshop review and revision
Determine if VEGASO document needs updating or replacement, and update or replace. Review 2014 Exploration Target workshop report in current context and determine if a new workshop is warranted.
Revised or new VEGASO document. Recommendation (or not) for new Landing site workshop
Joe O’Rourke, Candace Gray, Emilie Royer, Paul Byrne
Determination by summer 2020, update by VEXAG 2020, status reports at each SC meeting
5: Venus Science Nuggets
Identify, pursue, and aid creation of Venus Science Nuggets for NASA and VEXAG
1-slide Venus Science Nuggets.
Pat McGovern and Jenny Whitten
Ongoing, status reports at each SC meeting
6: Venus Surface Platform Study
Complete study begun in 2018
Workshop study report.
Leads Tibor Kremic, Mike Amato
By VEXAG 2020 meeting. Reports at each SC meeting
7: Venus Technology and Lab Study Workgroup
The VEXAG Technology SAW is working to develop and maintain a public database of technologies that may further advance Venus science and exploration. This database will provide mission planners with up-to-date information on potential technology solutions, and technologists with exposure and potential routes to maturation and infusion. The Technology SAW will also provide leadership and organization for future VEXAG topical workshops focused on instruments, facilities, and experimental investigations.
Lead Jeff Balcerski, Gary Hunter, Ananyo Bhattacharya, Josh Knicely
Periodic reports at some SC meetings. Database update at annual VEXAG meeting
8: Venus Outreach
Ongoing evaluation of increasing Venus awareness and advocacy in the planetary community and public at large.
Seminar series? Tutorials? Bimonthly meetings? Initial work is to determine the scope and types of outreach
Lead: Jeff Balcerski, Stephen Kane, Community members
Periodic reports at some SC meetings. Potential plan outline at 2020 VEXAG meeting.
10: Website Rework
Review contents of LPI’s VEXAG web site and update as appropriate
Updated LPI VEXAG Web Site by mid-2021. Update current VEXAG Web-Site to have the look and feel of OPAG’s, SBAG’s Mercury Exploration Assessment Group (MExAG)
Pat McGovern – Lead
LPI IT Tech – Michael Beaudry
Tag-Up telecons every 2 weeks starting in mid-January 2021
11: IDEA: Inclusion Diversity Equity, Access
Support, create, promote IDEA goals and initiatives within VEXAG and the Venus community at large. Represent VEXAG in IDEA inter-AG workgroup
Code of conduct, SC membership search/review policy.
Lead: Noam Izenberg, Emilie Royer, Molly McCanta
Periodic reports at SC meetings, product documents by VEXAG 2021
Past VEXAG Co-Chairs (in chronological order)
University of California, Berkeley, California
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Museum
JPL, Pasadena, California
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
Director of NASA's Science Mission Directorate's Planetary Science Division
Southwest Research Institute
NASA and LPI contacts:
Terms of Reference
Details about VEXAG, including its purpose, activities, organization, and processes can be found in the VEXAG Terms of Reference.