NASA: The US Space Agency (NASA) has announced two new missions to study Venus. The planet has not received new scientific equipment from the United States in its vicinity for 30 years.
NASA’s main objective is to study “how Venus became such a hellish world, while having so many similar characteristics to ours.”
The planet, which is the closest to Earth, has peculiar characteristics — including an average temperature of 461°C and a surface covered mainly by lava and substances such as sulfuric acid. However, suspicions are that it was once habitable and even had a climate and an ocean composition.
NASA selected two surveys among six competitors, based on the design of the projects and possible contributions to science. Those selected must now finish writing specifications and design for building the models. Each mission will have a budget estimated at US$ 500 million, and the launch of both equipment should take place between 2028 and 2030.
Know the equipment
The Davinci+ mission ((Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging)) will assess the composition of Venus’ atmosphere to understand its formation over the years, as well as seek clues to the presence of oceans there. The equipment, which must descend to the planet, will have the shape of a sphere and may be responsible for taking the first close-up photos of the local “ground”, which may even confirm if it has structures similar to our continents.
Veritas (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) specializes in topography and will study the geological history of the planet, orbiting Venus with a series of radars to create 3D surface reconstructions, study rock composition, and assess volcanic activity in the region.