The mission which has received funding of $ 500m has been scheduled to launch between 2028 and 2030. As stated by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, it would provide an opportunity to investigate a planet that has remained idle for more than 30 years. Magellan orbiter, the last US probe visited the planet in 1990. Since then, other spacecraft from Europe and Japan have orbited Venus.
The mission was chosen keeping in mind their potential scientific value and the utility of their development plants. It was picked through a peer review process. As stated by Mr Nelson “The two-sister mission both aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world, capable of melting lead at the surface”. The second planet from the sun, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system with a temperature of 500 C on the surface- enough to melt lead.
The Davinci+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) mission measures the planet’s atmosphere and apprehends how the planet was formed and evolved. It also plans to answer whether Venus ever had an ocean. Davinci+ is expected to provide high-resolution images of the planet’s geographical features. According to the scientist, the geographical features of the planet could be compared to the continent on the earth. It could indicate that Venus has tectonic plates.
The second mission, Veritas (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy), will study the planet’s surface to learn its geographical history and to investigate its different growth from the earth. It will also help to determine whether volcano and earthquake are still occurring on the planet. “ It is astounding how little we know about Venus, but the combined results of these missions will tell us about the planet from the clouds in the sky through the volcano on its surface down to its very core,” said Tom Wagner from NASA’s planetary science division. He also added “ It will be as if we have rediscovered the planet.