NASA on Wednesday announced two new exploration missions to Venus, the solar system’s hottest planet, to try to better understand why it’s a hellish place when its neighbor Earth became habitable. Has been made.
The US space agency reported that these two missions, called DaVinci+ and Veritas, are expected to depart “in the period 2028-2030”. “They will allow the scientific community to study a planet we haven’t seen in 30 years,” new NASA administrator Bill Nelson said during an annual speech to agency officials.
“There’s Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, which has no atmosphere. Then there’s Venus, with an incredibly dense atmosphere. And there’s Earth with a habitable atmosphere,” he listed. “We hope that these missions will help us better understand how Earth evolved and why it is currently habitable, while others (planets) are not.”
DaVinci+ would have to measure the composition of Venus’s atmosphere and determine if there ever was an ocean. “The mission consists of a region that will plunge into the planet’s dense atmosphere, making precise measurements of noble gases and other elements,” NASA explained.
Veritas, in turn, will study the geological history of the planet, placing itself in orbit around it. The mission will “track relief over nearly the entire surface of the planet to create a 3D reconstruction of the topography and confirm whether processes such as tectonics or volcanism are still occurring,” NASA said. Veritas will also need to determine whether active volcanoes are releasing water vapor into the atmosphere.
Bill Nelson also confirmed that Artemis 1, the first mission of the US Moon Return Program, will be launched “later this year”.