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NASA on Wednesday announced two new exploration missions to Venus, the solar system’s hottest planet, in an effort to better understand why it has become the “hell world” it is today, when its neighbor, Earth, is habitable. has gone.
These two missions, called DaVinci+ and Veritas, should fly “over the period 2028-2030,” the US space agency said in a press release.
“They will allow the scientific community to study a planet where we haven’t been for 30 years,” new NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in an annual address to agency staff. local.
“There’s Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, with no atmosphere. Then there’s Venus, with an incredibly dense atmosphere. Then there’s Earth, with a habitable atmosphere”, A- he listed. “We hope that these missions will give us a better understanding of how Earth evolved, and why it is currently habitable, while the others (planets) are not.”
DaVinci+ would have to measure the composition of Venus’s atmosphere, and determine whether there ever was an ocean.
“The mission consists of a region that will plunge into the planet’s dense atmosphere, making precise measurements of noble gases and other elements,” NASA explained.
Veritas will have to study the geological history of the planet, which is being placed in orbit around it.
According to NASA, the mission will “recover relief over nearly the entire surface of the planet to create a 3D reconstruction of the topography, and confirm whether processes such as tectonics or volcanism are still at work”.
Veritas will also need to determine whether active volcanoes are releasing water vapor into the atmosphere.
Bill Nelson also confirmed that Artemis 1, the first mission of the United States return program to the moon, would be launched “later this year”.
© 2021 AFP
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