Venus: two new exploration missions announced by NASA

To unravel the secrets of Venus, two new exploration missions will be carried out by NASA. The goal is to find out how Earth’s “sister planet” became so hostile.

Venus
Illustration Pixabay

In some respects, it resembles our planet, in particular having a fairly similar size and mass. Its geology is also similar to that of the Earth. But unlike the latter, Venus is far from habitable, notably having a much denser atmosphere and a temperature that can reach 470 degrees.

Recently, we learned that an entire day on Venus corresponds to 243.0226 Earth days. And researchers have not finished studying the terrestrial planet. NASA has just revealed that it will oversee two new missions on Venus. The latter will seek to know “How Venus became a hell-like world when it has so many other characteristics similar to ours – and was perhaps the first habitable world in the solar system, with an ocean”, underlines the agency in its press release.

Read also >> Extraterrestrial life: a biosignature detected in the atmosphere of Venus

Venus is still very mysterious

Each mission will have $ 500 million. They should start between 2028 and 2030. Named Davinci +, one of them will aim to study in depth the composition of the atmosphere of Venus. This could make it possible to know if the latter has already welcomed an ocean.

It will thus be a question of sending a sphere of descent. Which will explore its atmosphere to accurately measure the rare gases and other elements that compose it. In addition, the mission will obtain “The first high resolution images of the unique geological features of Venus”.

The second mission is called Veritas. It will seek to map the surface of the planet to retrace its geological history. Equipped with a synthetic aperture radar, it will thus remain in orbit around Venus to achieve “3D reconstructions of the topography and confirm whether processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism are still current on the planet”. If necessary, the mission will seek in particular to know if the active volcanoes expel water vapor into the atmosphere.

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