Upcoming Mission Aims to Explain Why Venus Looks like a Hellish Wasteland

Although Mars receives the most love from scientists, as many of them hope that humanity will colonize the Red Planet someday, maybe it’s time to shift our attention elsewhere for a little while. Venus is also an attractive point for astronomers, although sending humans there would literally be suicide.

Venus is the shiniest object from our night sky after the Moon. But regardless of how beautiful and sparkling it looks from tens of millions of kilometers, it can unfold even more mysteries. There are plenty of questions that remained unanswered about our neighboring planet, and astronomers hope that this will change soon.

The VERITAS mission is expected to grant more insights about Venus

The VERITAS mission has to first pass a selection stage in order to be appointed for the Venus destination. The mission is expected to shed light on aspects like the geology of Venus and how it became the hellish wasteland that we’re all aware of.

Despite being called Earth’s sister planet due to similar size and mass, Venus is very different than our planet, and astronomers still need to find out why. Our neighboring planet has an average temperature on its surface of 847 degrees F., which is hot enough to melt lead. It also rains with sulfuric acid there, and the atmospheric pressure at the surface is about 92 times higher than the one from Earth.

VERITAS expected to launch in 2026

VERITAS stands for Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography & Spectroscopy. It’s among the other three proposed missions being considered for NASA’s Discovery Program. Suzanne Smrekar, who is the principal investigator for VERITAS at JPL, declared:

Venus is like this cosmic gift of an accident. You have these two planetary bodies – Earth and Venus – that started out nearly the same but have gone down two completely different evolutionary paths, but we don’t know why.

Joann Stock, who is a geologist and geophysicist from Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory in Pasadena, issued an even more surprising statement:

The biggest mystery to me is the extent of deformation structures on Venus that could be studied to understand the nature of tectonic activity on the planet.

Webbyfeed.com will keep you in touch with what further missions will be delegated with the Venus destination.


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