Today’s Solutions: December 09, 2022

NASA has just released plans for a new mission called Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gasses, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI). Details of this daring feat have just been released in a paper by the agency, explaining their plan to descend through Venus’ layered atmosphere to the planet’s surface. If all goes according to plan, DAVINCI will reach Venus by mid-2031 and make history as the first mission to descend on the planet.

What is DAVINCI?

The DAVINCI craft will basically be a flying chemistry lab, measuring essential unknown aspects of Venus’ atmosphere and climate. The aircraft will also carry out imaging of Venus’ highland mountains, charting their rock composition and cloud maps in detail.

A medley of instruments and probes will be dropped down to the hellish surface of Venus to take these readings at very high specificity. One of these probes will be released 42 miles (67 kilometers) above the surface, where it will make its hour-long descent. After breaking through the planet’s clouds, the machine will take hundreds of images to capture as much information as possible.

“The probe will touch-down in the Alpha Regio mountains but is not required to operate once it lands, as all of the required science data will be taken before reaching the surface,” said NASA scientist Stephanie Getty in a press release. “If we survive the touchdown at about 25 miles per hour (12 meters/second), we could have up to 17-18 minutes of operations on the surface under ideal conditions.”

What will DAVINCI uncover? 

It is thought that the mission will support the measurement of undiscovered gasses – such as unbalanced versions of hydrogen – present in minuscule amounts in the planet’s atmosphere. From this, scientists expect to learn more about the history of water on Earth, such as its origins as liquid or steam in the early atmosphere.

This will reveal more mysterious information about the planet’s atmospheric and geological stories. “This ensemble of chemistry, environmental, and descent imaging data will paint a picture of the layered Venus atmosphere and how it interacts with the surface in the mountains of Alpha Regio, which is twice the size of Texas,” said Jim Garvin, DAVINCI principal investigator at NASA.

He continues: “These measurements will allow us to evaluate historical aspects of the atmosphere as well as to detect special rock types at the surface such as granites while also looking for tell-tale landscape features that could tell us about erosion or other formational processes.”

Source study: The Planetary Science Journal Revealing the Mysteries of Venus: The DAVINCI Mission

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Sweden to introduce off-grid communities that fully sustain themselves

To ensure that communities around the world become future-proof and resilient in the face of climate change, it’s essential to create development models that ...

Read More

The Climate Diet: A guide to living for a greener future

We at The Optimist Daily are big fans of lifestyle changes that contribute towards slashing greenhouse gas emissions and offer a sense of autonomy ...

Read More

Okra: the surprising hero in the fight against microplastics

According to new research from scientists at Tarleton State University in Texas, okra — you know, the green, finger-shaped pod that is often added ...

Read More

White House and 11 East Coast states partner to bolster offshore wind power

On Thursday, the White House announced that it will partner with 11 East Coast states to bolster offshore wind energy.  This arrangement, called the ...

Read More