By June 2031, NASA hopes to complete its DAVINCI mission, which aims to set foot on the surface of the planet Venus for the first time.
The interest on the part of NASA is linked to the discovery of an investigation which supposes a type of microscopic life on this planet.
In 2020, scientific research detected phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, a molecule which on Earth can be produced by bacteria, which is why the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission from the agency will descend through the layers of Venus’ atmosphere to the surface of the planet in 2031 to confirm this hypothesis.
Through an article, the agency explained the details of its mission. “The mission’s Carrier, Repeater and Imaging (CRIS) spacecraft has two instruments on board that will study the planet’s clouds, map its mountainous areas during flybys of Venus, and launch a small lander with five instruments that will provide a range of new ultra-high – precision measurements during its descent to the infernal surface of Venus.
[OVNI: Para la NASA, el nuevo programa podría ser “un tipo de investigación de alto riesgo y alto impacto”]
“This dataset of chemical, environmental and descent imagery will provide a snapshot of the layers of Venus’ atmosphere and how they interact with the surface in the mountains of Alpha Regio, which is twice the size of the Texas,” said lead author Jim Garvin. of the Planetary Science Journal article and DAVINCI Principal Investigator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. “These measurements will allow us to assess historical aspects of the atmosphere, as well as detect special types of rocks on the surface, such as granites, while looking for telltale features of the landscape that could tell us about erosion or other training processes.”
For her part, Stephanie Getty, principal investigator at Goddard, clarified: “The probe will land in the Alpha Regio mountains, but there is no need to operate once it lands, since all the necessary scientific data will be taken before reaching the surface. .” . “If we survive landing at 12 meters/second, we could have up to 17-18 minutes of surface operations under ideal conditions.”
This mission is expected to measure chemistry and the environment in greater detail than ever before in NASA history.
The US agency said the first flyby of Venus will take place six and a half months after its launch and that it will take two years to place the probe in the position necessary to enter the atmosphere above Alpha Regio with ideal “noon” lighting, with the aim of measuring Venus landscapes on scales ranging from 100 meters to less than one meter.
DAVINCI is expected to launch in 2029 and enter Venus’ atmosphere in June 2031.
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