The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) recently announced its plans of launching two new scientific missions to Venus between 2028 and 2030.
About the Mission:
- The missions have been awarded about $500 million under NASA’s Discovery Program.
- Each one is expected to launch in the 2028-2030 timeframe.
- The two new robotic missions are dubbed Davinci+ and Veritas.
- Both the mission to Venus are aimed at examining the atmosphere and geological features on the planet.
- The two missions to the Earth’s sister planet by NASA which will be it’s first one in decades aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world capable of melting lead at the surface.
- These two missions were selected after a peer-review process.
- They were chosen on the basis of their potential scientific value and feasibility of their development plans.
About Davinci+ Mission:
- Davinci+ is “Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging” mission.
- It will measure the atmosphere of Venus to gain insight into how it formed and evolved.
- It also seeks to determine whether Venus ever had an ocean.
- DAVINCI+ will also consist of a fly-by spacecraft and an atmospheric descent probe.
- It is expected to return the first high-resolution images of the unique geological characteristics on Venus called ‘tesserae’.
- Scientists have believed that those features may be comparable to the continents of Earth and suggest that Venus has plate tectonics.
- The second mission, Veritas (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) will map the surface of Venus to understand its geologic history.
- It will also investigate how it developed differently than Earth.
- It will use a form of radar to investigate surface elevations and will discover if volcanoes and earthquakes are still happening.
- The US and the former Soviet Union sent multiple spacecraft to Venus in the early days of space exploration.
- In 1962, NASA’s Mariner 2 performed the first successful flyby.
- In 1970, the Soviets’ Venera 7 made the first successful landing.
- In 1990, NASA used a space shuttle to send its Magellan spacecraft into orbit around Venus.
- The European Space Agency put a spacecraft around Venus in 2006.
- Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system and the second planet from the sun.
- It is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor.
- It is similar in structure to Earth but slightly smaller, with a diameter of about 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles).
- Its surface temperature is 500 degrees Celsius which is hot enough to melt lead.