We need another planet to live on. After 30 years, the space agency is planning several trips to Venus. One of the things on the agenda is the mapping of the planet – a difficult undertaking.
In the second attempt, NASA decided to send two discovery missions to Venus. They are called Davinci Plus and Vertias. In 2017 the two were already among the finalists, but NASA decided on the two asteroid explorations Lucy and Psyche. At the end of this decade the time has come: Then the sister missions to the inferno-like world start. Davinci Plus is supposed to investigate the atmosphere. At the same time, Veritas starts a new mapping of the planet. The maps of the Magellan probe currently in use date from the early 90s, the technology of the probe from the 80s.
The weather on Earth’s sister planet can be described as hellish: the temperature on the surface, with an average of over 460 degrees Celsius, is so hot that tin and lead would melt there. In addition, there is a pressure of around 92 bar, which is around 92 times as high as on earth. It corresponds roughly to the pressure at a depth of 900 meters. Yet scientists have found signs of life on the planet. Monophosphate is a breakdown product of living organisms and has been detected in the clouds, where the temperatures are more pleasant. Davinci Plus could confirm the presence beyond any doubt.
According to the plan, it will initially fly past Venus twice in 2030 and take measurements. A year later she is supposed to drop a probe that analyzes gases for an hour with an apparatus of instruments during the descent. Lead researcher James B. Garvin said: “The measurements we make when we descend to the clouds will be very accurate, comparable to those we know from Mars and Earth.” The scientists hope this will provide clues like Venus and their atmosphere was created and whether water has escaped from there into space. The measurements could also directly prove the monophosphate and spark further discussions about life on the supposedly hostile planet.