NASA plans two new robotic missions to Venus

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NASA plans two new robotic missions to Venus
NASA plans two new robotic missions to Venus Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nasa sets aside $1bn for two ventures, which will be first US exploration of the planet since 1989.

NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson has today announced NASA’s next two Discovery missions: DAVINCI+ and VERITAS. Both missions will be tasked to study Venus. This also marks the first time in 30 years that the agency will send a mission back to the planet.

The DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus) discovery mission will inform our understanding of the dense and toxic Venusian atmosphere, something that is exciting given the ongoing discussion of potentially interesting chemistry taking place there. This mission could also provide insights into whether the planet ever had an ocean.

The second mission is VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy). This spacecraft will create incredibly detailed maps of the Venusian surface as well as analyzing the planet’s geology.

Both missions will work together to understand why a planet so similar in size to Earth is an inferno of lead-melting temperatures and acid rain.

The missions have a projected launch between 2028-2030.

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