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New NASA Missions: NASA Circles Back to Venus


There is a piece of big news in the space world, as the space agency – NASA is returning its focus towards Venus. For the first time in more than 30 years or so, the agency has decided something on Venus. This Wednesday, the space agency administrator, Bill Nelson, was quick to announce the latest choices for the robotic planetary missions. Both are expected to head to the said planet very soon with their twin missions called Davinci + and Veritas. As per Mr. Nelson, these are two sister missions, which will understand how the planet has become an inferno-like world, which makes Venus capable of melting lead over the surface.


Venus is often referred to as a Twin of Earth, which remains comparable in composition, mass, and size, while its orbit remains closest to Earth. However, the history of Earth and Venus diverged. We see Earth with moderate temperature and is covered with water, while Venus has a dense environment composing the Carbon Dioxide gas. At the same time, it remains scalding at around 900 degrees Fahrenheit. After several missions carried out by the US and the USSR in the seventies, eighties and nineties, their focus shifted in different directions.


Earlier, we have seen the planet being neglected despite knowing that a group of scientists has found out the presence of microbes using their Earth-based telescopes. The temperature is warm seemed to be the concern of the scientists. In their findings, they have found out that they have discovered Phosphine and molecules, which they could not give any viable kind of explanation. They feel that their presence could be due to the waste products coming from the living organisms. In contrast, a group of other scientists claimed that there is no presence of any living organism. All these findings have propelled the NASA administrator, Mr. Jim Bridestine, claims that it’s time now to give all importance and priority to Venus.


In 2020, the space agency embarked with some proposals related to the Discovery Program. The scientists and experts embarked with small-sized planetary missions backed by modest budget tags turning down to the finalists. Thus these two sister missions are the result of the earlier efforts. The other missions discussed earlier include the Volcanic Observer, which included the moon of Jupiter. This is a volcanically very active body found in the solar system. The team of scientists on these two sister missions has got some good news earlier. Suzanne Smrekar was the first one to get a call on this. She is the chief investigator at NASA, taking care of Veritas.


She said that she was expecting a call from the NASA Headquarters and stated that she got the call early at 5.30 am. With another venture Davinci Plus, one can find the presence of Phosphine in it. The space agency has decided to launch this mission in 2029, and by one year, they will be putting all their efforts into carrying out the scientific observations. By 2031, NASA intends to come close to Venus. The spacecraft, with its devices, plans to study the gases in the atmosphere around the planet.


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