Venus: Mission of the European Space Agency to reveal the secrets of the “twin of the earth” | News from science and technology
With a new space mission, scientists want to explore the secrets of Venus, including whether it was once habitable.
British boffins will play a leading role in the EnVision project, studying the atmosphere and geology of the planet known as “Earth Twin”.
As part of the Cosmic Vision program of the European Space Agency (ESA), the mission in place will cost about 610 million euros.
It will study past and present volcanic activity and track gases vital to the preservation of clouds and the environment around Venus, as well as discover why Earth is the only planet that can sustain life.
The EnVision orbiter is scheduled to launch in 2031 and will take 15 months to reach the planet.
Once it arrives, it will slow down another 16 months, in a process called aerobraking, until it reaches a low circular orbit.
It will begin its four-year study with instruments including an echo sounder to reveal underground layers and spectrometers to examine the atmosphere and surface.
A radar provided by NASA will also map and map the surface.
Researchers from Royal Holloway, the University of London, Oxford University and Imperial College London will collaborate with European and American scientists on the project.
Venus is the most Earth-like planet in terms of size, composition, and distance from the Sun.
Many academics believe the two planets were likely once quite similar, with oceans of molten rock and thick atmospheres of carbon dioxide and steam.
But while the Earth has evolved to become habitable, Venus may or may not have passed a habitable stage before developing a greenhouse effect that is now heating its surface to 450 ° C (842 ° F).
British scientists recently participated in another program in which Hundreds of worms are sent into space for research into human muscle breakdown.
Science Secretary Amanda Solloway said: “I am proud that once again British scientists have been selected to play a leading role in a mission that will increase humanity’s understanding of the universe.”