NASA today announced two new missions to go to Venus to study its atmosphere and surface, both scheduled to launch sometime between 2028 and 2030.
One, dubbed DAVINCI+, send a probe into Venus’s atmosphere, both to measure its gases as well as taken the first high resolution images of a unique Venusian geological called “tesserae.” On radar images tesserae regions appear to be high plateaus cross-cut with many sharp ridges.
The second, dubbed VERITAS, will be a radar-orbiter designed to map the planet’s surface at higher resolution than the earlier Pioneer and Magellan radar orbiters. It will also do this:
VERITAS also will map infrared emissions from Venus’ surface to map its rock type, which is largely unknown, and determine whether active volcanoes are releasing water vapor into the atmosphere.
That data will help tell us whether there are now active volcanoes on Venus. The data we presently have suggest it is a planet of many volcanoes, numbering in the millions. That data has also hinted at the possibility that some are active. VERITAS will attempt to find out.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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