Two robotic missions will be sent to Venus by Nasa.
After decades of researching other worlds, Nasa has announced two robotic trips to Venus.
New Nasa administrator Bill Nelson announced in his first major message to employees that the space agency will return to Earth’s closest neighbor, which is also the solar system’s hottest planet.
Mr Nelson explained, “Both of these sibling missions aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like globe capable of melting lead at the surface.”
One mission, dubbed DaVinci Plus, will study Venus’s thick, dense atmosphere to see if the fiery planet ever had an ocean and was potentially livable. To measure the gases, a small craft will be sent into the atmosphere.
It will be the first trip to Venus’s atmosphere led by the United States since 1978.
The Veritas mission, on the other hand, will map the stony planet’s surface in search of geologic history.
“It’s amazing how little we know about Venus,” Nasa scientist Tom Wagner said in a statement, “but the new missions will provide unprecedented views of the planet’s atmosphere, which is largely carbon dioxide, down to the core.” “It’ll be like though we’ve discovered the planet all over again.”
Thomas Zurbuchen, the agency’s chief science officer, refers to it as “a new decade of Venus.”
Under Nasa’s Discovery program, each mission, which will launch between 2028 and 2030, will receive 500 million dollars (£350 million) for development.
Two more proposed trips to Jupiter’s moon Io and Neptune’s ice moon Triton were defeated by the missions.
In the early days of space research, the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union dispatched many spacecraft to Venus.
In 1962, NASA’s Mariner 2 completed the first successful flyby, and in 1970, the Soviets’ Venera 7 completed the first successful landing.
Nasa launched its Magellan probe into orbit around Venus in 1989 with the help of a space shuttle.
In 2006, the European Space Agency orbited Venus using a spacecraft.