We’ve been closely following NASA’s recent excursions to Mars, but the space agency announced this week that it’s getting even more ambitious with its exploration and will be launching two missions to Venus between 2028 and 2030.
The last US probe to visit the planet was the Magellan orbiter in 1990. The two new missions, named the Davinci+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) and the Veritas (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy), hope to help us gain a better understanding of conditions on the hottest planet in our solar system where temperatures average 500℃.
Both mission proposals were chosen based on their potential scientific value and feasibility. They will offer images of the planet’s geographic makeup and insights into its geologic features like tectonic plates, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
Tom Wagner from NASA’s Planetary Science Division told BBC, “It is astounding how little we know about Venus, but the combined results of these missions will tell us about the planet from the clouds in the sky through the volcanoes on its surface all the way down to its very core.”