Early 2030s, the DAVINCI probe plummets to Venus’ surface

  • DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging).
  • DAVINCI to Explore Divergent Fate of Earth’s Mysterious Twin
  • NASA revealed plans for two new $500million missions to Venus
  • DAVINCI missions launching between 2028 and 2030

The planet Venus is referred to as Earth’s twin due to its size and location similarity, but it is an entirely separate world that has yet to be explored. A dry and inhospitable world with 470 °C surface temperature is now being studied by two separate probes.
DAVINCI will be the first US probe to enter Venus’ atmosphere in more than 40 years when it launches in 2029. A primary objective of the mission is to explore Venus for the purpose of determining if it can support life and to understand why it became so inhospitable.
A space probe named for Leonardo da Vinci, who connected technology, engineering, and even art through his work, DAVINCI + could explore a neighboring planet. This Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus (DAVINCI+) mission will travel to Venus and land a probe on the surface of the planet.
After reaching Venus orbit, the $500 million spacecraft will track clouds and measure heat emission to map surface composition. In addition to taking high-resolution images of Venus’ ancient highlands, the spacecraft will sample Venus’ chemistry as well as its pressure, temperature, and winds during its entry and descent into Venus’ atmosphere.

NASA’s DAVINCI Misson Video

The Mission Details for DAVINCI

NASA’s DAVINCI mission will send a spacecraft with a number of instruments to study Earth’s sister planet’s formation, evolution, and composition. Two segments of the mission will be launched in 2029: a series of flybys of Venus, and a probe drop through the thick clouds of Venus. In the first phase, the DAVINCI carrier, relay, and imaging spacecraft will examine Venus’ dayside and collect data about unknown compounds in the planet’s high atmosphere with the Compact Ultraviolet to Visible Imaging Spectrometer (CUVIS). The Venus Imaging System for Observational Reconnaissance (VISOR) is scheduled to fly by Venus again in January to study the nightside of Venus in infrared in order to learn how the mountains on Venus formed.

The DAVINCI probe will release its atmospheric descent probe 7 months after Venus’ second flyby, which will penetrate the thick clouds of CO2 and sulfuric acid, which cover Venus. You can get an idea of the density of Venus’ atmosphere by knowing that it is 90 times denser than our own. It will descend into the region called Alpha Regio Tesserae once it is released. Until it reaches Venus’ surface, it will transmit data about the planet’s atmosphere.

According to NASA, it is this region that may have clues about the planet’s mysterious past within its rocks. Additionally, the mission said that the set of data extracted from DAVINCI would help us understand Venus’s history as well as the history of similar planets elsewhere in the universe.

DAVINCI’s tools on Venus

There will be four instruments onboard the probe, including a Venus Mass Spectrometer (VMS) and a Venus Tunable Laser Spectrometer (VTLS). These instruments will study the surface composition of Venus and its atmosphere. It is expected that the two instruments will search for evidence of how and when Venus’ climate changed so drastically.
At an altitude of 70 kilometers, Venus Atmospheric Structure Investigation (VASI) will measure temperatures, pressures, and wind patterns on Venus. When the Venus Descent Imager (VenDI) instrument enters the thick atmosphere of Venus, it will capture near-infrared images of the Alpha Regio highlands.
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is the principal investigator institution and will oversee both the mission’s project management and the probe flight system development. In collaboration with the University of Michigan, Goddard will build the VMS instrument and the VASI instrument’s sensor system. The Goddard team also oversees the science support for the project.

NASA’s DAVINCI Explores 9 Mysteries of Venus

Here are 9 mysteries of Venus that NASA scientists are still grappling with:
1. Did Venus ever host life?
2. Why is Venus so different from Earth?
3. How did Venus form?
4. What is the atmospheric composition at Venus?
5. How were the rocks of Venus formed?
6. How much water did Venus have?
7. How does surface activity at Venus differ from that on Earth?
8. On Venus, how do the mountains look?
9. Is there a Venus-like planet outside our solar system (the exoplanets)?

Read in Details
NASA’s Magellan mission last orbited Venus 27 years ago. This was NASA’s most recent mission to Venus, and although we have learned quite a bit about the planet since then, there are still many mysteries remaining. Through the NASA mission DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging), NASA aims to change this.

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