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Notícias Internacionais / 07/06/2021

WORLD NEWS

NASA Announces 2 New Space Missions for Venus

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NASA Announces 2 New Space Missions for Venus


After the Moon, Mars, now it will be Venus' turn. After 30 years, NASA announced this week 2 new space missions to the hottest planet in the solar system.

The idea is to investigate whether, in fact, our neighboring planet had conditions similar to those on Earth. These two missions, called Davinci + and Veritas, are expected to depart “in the period 2028-2030,” the US Space Agency reported.

“They will allow the scientific community to study a planet we haven't visited in over 30 years,” said new NASA administrator Bill Nelson during the annual speech to agency officials.

Remembering that the first to reach Venus were the Soviets by means of a probe.

missions

Part of NASA's Discovery Program wants to unravel whether Venus was the first habitable planet in the solar system complete with an ocean and an Earth-like climate.

This unknown is part of the 4 mission concepts that the US Space Agency chose in February 2020 as part of the Discovery 2019 competition.

The two missions were chosen based on their potential scientific value and the feasibility of their development plans.

NASA is providing approximately US$500 million for the development of the mission scheduled for the period 2028 and 2030.

Davinci+

Davinci+ will measure the composition of Venus' atmosphere to understand how it formed and evolved, as well as determine whether the planet ever had an ocean. The mission consists of a sphere that will dive into the planet's thick atmosphere.

She will take accurate measurements of noble gases and other elements to understand why Venus' atmosphere is an uncontrolled greenhouse compared to Earth's.

In addition, Davinci+ will return with the first high-resolution images of the unique geological features of Venus known as “tesselas”, which may be comparable to Earth's continents, suggesting that Venus has plate tectonics.

This will be the first US-led mission to Venus' atmosphere since 1978. If all goes well, Davinci+ results could reshape our understanding of terrestrial planet formation in our Solar System and beyond.

Veritas

Veritas will map the surface of Venus to determine the planet's geological history and understand why the planet developed so differently Earth.

Orbiting Venus with a synthetic aperture radar, Veritas will map the surface elevations of nearly the entire planet to create 3D reconstructions of the topography and confirm whether processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism are still active on Venus.

The probe will also map infrared emissions the surface of Venus to learn its rock type and determine whether active volcanoes are releasing water vapor into the atmosphere.

In addition to the participation of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the mission will have the collaboration of institutions Germany, Italy and France.

“We are accelerating our planetary science program with intense exploration of a world NASA has not visited in over 30 years,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science.

future of earth

Scientists want to understand why Venus, once habitable, ended up uninhabitable.

“Using cutting-edge technologies that NASA has developed and refined over many years of technology missions and programs, we are ushering in a new Venus decade to understand how an Earth-like planet can become a greenhouse.

Our goals are profound. It's not just about understanding the evolution of planets and habitability in our Solar System, but extending beyond those boundaries to exoplanets, an exciting and emerging area of ​​research for NASA.”

“It's amazing how little we know about Venus. But the combined results of these missions will bring us revelations about the planet, the clouds in its sky, through the volcanoes on its surface, to the center,” said Tom Wagner, NASA Discovery Program scientist.

"It will be as if we had rediscovered the planet", he concluded


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