The US space agency “NASA” announced that it will send two missions to Venus, for the first time in more than 30 years, according to the Washington Post.
The newspaper says that for years, Mars has been the center of NASA’s greatest interest, so it sent a series of probes to explore the red planet, and the agency also focused on the moon and pledged to return astronauts to it in the coming years for the first time since 1972.
But yesterday, Wednesday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced that it has its sights set on a world that has not received much attention for decades, the planet Venus, the closest neighbor to Earth in the solar system.
In a speech at NASA Headquarters, Nelson said the agency will send two missions to Venus in an effort described by scientists as long overdue. A time frame has been set for the two missions between 2028-2030.
The newspaper notes that NASA has not sent a probe to Venus for more than 30 years, despite its relative proximity and the belief of many that studying what is happening there may help scientists understand the Earth better.
Although Venus is a “hot, unforgiving hell” in the words of NASA, it has many of the same characteristics as ours.
Nelson explained that the two missions will study “how Venus became a hell-like world capable of melting lead on the surface.” He added that he hopes the two missions will advance understanding of how the Earth evolved and why it is habitable when others in our solar system are not.
And to find out how Venus develops, NASA said that it will represent two missions, the first it called Da Vinci Plus, and it will send a probe that enters the dense atmospheric forage of the planet to understand why it is a wild greenhouse compared to Earth, NASA says.
The second mission, called VERITAS, will map the terrain of Venus using radar to map elevations and map infrared emissions to study rock types.