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European Space Agency Green Lights EnVision mission to Venus

An artist's representation of the EnVision orbiter above Venus.

An artist’s representation of the EnVision orbiter above Venus.
Drawing: ESA / VR2Planets / Damia Bouic

It has been barely a week since NASA announced his two Venus missions, and now there’s another one to look forward to. The European Space Agency today announced EnVision, its own spacecraft bound for Venus, scheduled for launch in the early 2030s.

“A new era in the exploration of our nearest but very different solar system neighbor awaits us,” said Günther Hasinger, scientific director of the agency, in a statement. Press release. “With the New Venus missions led by NASA, we will have an extremely comprehensive science program on this enigmatic planet over the next decade. “

Mysterious about our warm yellow wasteland a neighbor are multiple: how did it get so hot? Why is it so toxic? Do there still active volcanoes? Could life somehow exist in its atmosphere? Anyway, why has it become so different from Earth? Around the same time as NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI + missions, EnVision will also be heading to Venus to find out. EnVision is more comparable to VERITAS because they are both orbiters; DAVINCI + aims to land on the surface. Envision will be equipped with instruments to unpack the planet’s geology, internal structure, gravitation field, atmosphere, and the composition of the surfaces. Together, the next The missions will give us a refined and comprehensive overview of the current state and evolution of Venus.

The EnVision mission will try to understand how Venus and Earth have become so different.

the Mission EnVision will try to understand how Venus and Earth ended up so different.
Drawing: NASA / JAXA / ISAS / DARTS / Damia Bouic / VR2Planets

While NASA’s last trip to Venus was the Magellan mission, concluded in 1994, the European Space Agency visited more recently. His Venus Express The orbiter arrived on the planet in 2006 and completed its work at the end of 2014. The Japanese space agency, JAXA, also has a craft in the Venus district since 2015, inspecting the atmosphere.But to start in the early 2030s will mean a quarter-loaded tech-laden spacecraftmore advanced century.

Just as NASA’s Venus missions came out of the Discovery program, which pits great spacecraft concepts against each other in a competition for funding, the EnVision Orbiter competed with Theseus (the Transient High-Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor) to be built. EnVision finally got the green light from the agency’s scientific committee, though Theseus remains of interest. Maybe next time.

Venus is a sulphurous and hot hell landscape.

Venus is a sulphurous and hot hell landscape.
Picture: NASA / JPL

“We are delighted to contribute to ESA’s exciting new mission to investigate Venus,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA Associate Administrator for Science, said in the news. Release. “EnVision leverages the strengths of our two agencies in instrument development. Combined with NASA’s Discovery missions to Venus, the scientific community will have a powerful and synergistic set of new data to understand how Venus formed and how the surface and atmosphere have changed over time.

the Envision orbiter joins Solar Orbiter, Euclid, Plato and Ariel as active ESA missions. the Solar orbiter is the only mission launched to date; the rest will come throughout the 2020s. After that, if all goes well, EnVision will make its mark in space research, with a launch between 2031 and 2033 and get to Venus three years later.

More: We Just Learned Something Crazy About Venus Atmosphere

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