Session Descriptions


A renaissance in Venus exploration is underway with ESA’s EnVision orbiter mission and NASA’s VERITAS orbiter and the DAVINCI in-situ probe missions all going to Venus in the early 2030s. Several other missions, both commercial and government-funded, are also targeting Venus exploration in the next decade. The subsequent steps in Venus exploration may include aerial platforms, short duration landers, and long-lived lander concepts for which technologies are still under development. Our dedicated Venus IPPW session invites submissions on both scientific platform technologies and the experiments that will be conducted from them. Of particular interest are innovative techniques for exploring Venus that employ methods for coping with and/or exploiting its severe environment. Papers that address the differing challenges of exploring the cloud habitability layer with its sulfuric acid clouds and the Venus surface bathed in hot supercritical CO2 will be of particular interest.

Arnaud Borner
Soumyo Dutta –
Clara O’Farrell
Nelson Giovanny Guecha-Ahumada
Martin Haag


This session will focus on recent, current, in development, and proposed Mars missions. Topics may include science, technology, and systems dealing with the in-situ exploration of Mars, including aerobraking, entry, descent, and landing segments, and sample return. Contributions to this session can address aspects such as (but not limited to) climate, atmospheric science, astrobiology, geology, in-situ resource utilization, and human exploration through the use of local, regional, or global landed networks.

Marcus Lobbia
Alan Cassell –
Joshua D Monk
Thomas Hancock
Cameron Mitchell Grace
David Mimoun
Michael Schleiss

Ice Giants & Gas Giants

This session will focus on the exploration of the four outer planets of our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus) and their moons.  Abstracts addressing science drivers, entry descent and landing systems, cross-cutting technologies, and investigations relevant to future in situ exploration of the outer planets will be of interest. Abstracts about current and future mission proposals, including impact of lessons learned from previous missions on current efforts are also welcome.

Olivier Mousis –
Rathakrishnan Bhaskaran
Francesca Ferri
Alejandro R Pensado

Water Worlds & Airless Bodies

This session combines contributions on all aspects of the exploration of two types of targets: water worlds (Europa, Enceladus, Titan) and airless bodies (Mercury, Earth’s moon, other airless planetary satellites, and small solar system bodies including asteroids and comets). Content may include related science and science goals/drivers, mission concepts, (entry,) descent and landing technologies, ocean access methods for the water worlds, architectures for and development of landers/rovers/vehicles, instrumentation, and field testing of technologies/equipment. Abstracts on current and future mission proposals, operational strategies, impact of lessons learned from previous missions, as well as results of current projects are equally invited.

Ravi Prakash –
Eric C Stern
Philipp Maier

Modeling, Simulation, Testing & Validation

This session will focus on advancements in entry, descent, and landing (EDL) mission phases, either in the form of experiments or modeling & simulation. Such relevant topics include: flight dynamics/stability; computational fluid dynamics (CFD); shock layer radiation and kinetics, guidance, navigation, and control (GNC); materials and thermal protection systems (TPS); decelerator systems; plume surface interaction (PSI); integrated/optimized capabilities; and related disciplines. Current work in testing and demonstration techniques, model validation, and diagnostics are also a major component of this session. Work that advances the state-of-the-art, broadens the capabilities of EDL technologies, or compares/leverages both testing and computational models including data-driven modeling, is especially relevant. Preference is given to discussion of models, simulations, ground testing, flight tests, and validation applied directly to specific EDL missions and proposals, rather than general model development.

Max Hofacker
Eli R Shellabarger
Thomas West –
Anthony Williams
Justin S Green
Brandis Aaron

Innovative Concepts for Exploration

This session invites submission of abstracts that propose novel and highly innovative future mission concepts, scientific measurement instruments, technologies, and programmatic approaches for solar system exploration. This includes, but is not limited to, non-traditional entry, descent, and landing concepts and technologies, innovative in-situ exploration of solar system bodies including multi-sensor/multi-probe and swarm approaches, small spacecraft exploration missions and technologies, and innovative solutions for reducing mission risk and/or life cycle costs to enable a greater number of mission opportunities or facilitate synergies between missions. Preference will be given to innovative and visionary ideas that have the potential to significantly advance the state of the art in current exploration approaches, capabilities or technologies.

Samuel W Albert –
Evan Roelke
Gilles Bailet
Dmitriy Shutin
Alex Austin

Aeroassist, Entry, Descent & Landing

This session focuses on the development and advancement of EDL technologies to enable future planetary missions involving probes, landers, and deployable flight vehicles. Areas of interest include but are not limited to aeroassist maneuvers, thermal protection systems, deployable heat shields, aerothermodynamics, parachutes, GN&C, retro-propulsion, landing systems, and associated instrumentation.  Discussion of new concepts and flight demonstrations is encouraged.

Al Witkowski
Robert A Dillman –
Hannah Alpert
Suman Muppidi
Michael J Wright
Heiko Ritter
Rohan G Deshmukh

Science, Instrumentation, Experiments & In-Situ Measurements

Science research is the ultimate goal of any planetary exploration mission. The development of scientific instruments involves a wide range of activities from the conception to testing in field campaigns, through all the needed engineering tasks, qualification tests, technology maturation activities, etc.

This session invites abstracts discussing instrument concepts, hardware, and field experiments aimed at demonstrating and developing scientific investigations for planetary exploration.

Abstracts may include topics such as innovative concepts for previously infeasible measurements, the application of standard techniques in novel environments, or reports on progress made in developing instrumentation hardware or measurement techniques. Priority will be given to experiments or instrumentation geared towards in-situ measurements such as landers, probes, or aerial platforms. A combined scientific/technical approach, addressing both the scientific objectives and measurement principles, as well as the technical challenges and engineering activities, is encouraged.

Shannon MacKenzie
Ignacio Arruego –
Ryan Timoney
Siddharth Krishnamoorthy

Earth Return

The Earth Return session will provide a discussion space for mission concepts, science objectives, and engineering related to Sample Return to Earth. Also welcome are submissions regarding sample acquisition, characterization, containment assurance, and planetary protection related to safely returning samples to Earth. The goal of this session is to present the state-of-the-art within the community for sample return to Earth missions as well as concepts to enable and enhance future Earth return missions.

Aaron Stehura
Sally Cahill
Jean-Marc Bouilly
Jason Ginn
Ben M Tackett