NASA plans to conduct two new missions to Venus, this is the first time in decades | Space


DAVINCI+ consists of a flying spacecraft and an atmospheric descent probe, and is expected to return the first high-resolution image of the unique geological features of Venus, called “tesserae”.

NASA announced on Wednesday that it plans to launch two new scientific missions to Venus between 2028 and 2030 — the first in decades — to study the atmospheric and geological characteristics of Earth’s so-called sister planets.

NASA stated that it has provided approximately US$500 million in funding for the development of these two missions, which are called DAVINCI+ (abbreviation for Deep Atmosphere Venus Precious Gas, Chemical and Imaging Research) and VERITAS (Venus Emission Rate , Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy).

NASA stated that DAVINCI+ will measure the composition of the dense atmosphere of Venus in order to better understand how it evolved, while VERITAS will map the surface of Venus from orbit to help determine its geological history and why its development is related to the Earth. So different.

DAVINCI+ consists of an overflight spacecraft and an atmospheric descent probe, and is expected to return the first high-resolution image of Venus’s unique geological features, called “tesserae”. According to NASA’s announcement, scientists believe that these features may be similar to the Earth’s continents and indicate that Venus has plate tectonics.

NASA’s new Administrator, Bill Nelson, announced two new robotic missions to the hottest planets in the solar system in his first important speech to employees on Wednesday. [File: Bill Ingalls/NASA]

Venus is the nearest planetary neighbor of the earth and the second planet from the sun. Its structure is similar to that of the earth, but slightly smaller than the earth, with a diameter of about 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles).

Above its ominous landscape is a thick toxic atmosphere, mainly composed of a cloud of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid droplets. The result is an uncontrolled greenhouse effect, baking the surface of Venus at temperatures as high as 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius), which is hot enough to melt lead.

Venus has received less scientific attention recently than Mars, Earth’s next closest planetary neighbor, and other solar system destinations.

“We are accelerating our planetary science program to conduct in-depth exploration of a world that NASA has not visited in more than 30 years,” said Thomas Zubchen, NASA’s co-director of science, in a statement announcing the mission.

NASA’s Magellan spacecraft arrived at Venus in 1990 and produced the first global map of the surface of Venus and a global map of the Earth’s gravitational field.

In 1994, the Magellan spacecraft was sent to the surface of Venus to collect data about its atmosphere before it ceased operations.


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