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The DAVINCI mission, arriving at Venus in 2031, includes a probe that will collect data as it descends through the planet's atmosphere.

The descent will take about an hour and Stephanie Getty, deputy principal investigator from Goddard says: “If we survive the touchdown at about 25 miles per hour (12 meters/second), we could have up to 17-18 minutes of operations on the surface under ideal conditions.”

The mean temperature on the surface of the planet is 464°C, has NASA explained how the probe will keep the temperature low enough for the instruments to function for this time?

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    $\begingroup$ "The descent probe is not intended to operate once it touches down on the surface of Venus." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DAVINCI The problem with cooling anything on the surface of Venus is that the ambient temperature is so high, there is no place to reject the heat to. So probes so far have just survived until they heat up enough to fail. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2023 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I'm guessing from the "we could have up to 17-18 minutes of operations on the surface" that, as you say, NASA are expecting it to heat up to failure temperature at that time. But it's a small probe and will have been heating up during the hour it is falling through the atmosphere, not to mention the heat of re-entry. Would cooling by insulation alone keep the instruments working? $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2023 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know anything about the design which is why I wrote a comment instead of an answer. It's possible there could be an internal heatsink or some kind of cooling system that uses a consumable, but both would be life-limited. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2023 at 14:15
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    $\begingroup$ I presume, coming from space, that it starts pretty cold. The electronics are likely a small volume inside the larger probe body, and placed in the middle to heat up last. Add insulation to delay heat flow. Cook a frozen steak and a room temperature steak at the same time and compare the middle. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 7, 2023 at 16:42

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This says it all really:

To keep the probe active for as long as possible, it is spherical and covered in a thick titanium shell to withstand the pressure and insulate against the heat. Then there’s more insulation inside this shell, made of special materials including astroquartz, a type of fiber made from fused quartz.

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