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Aerial Platforms for the Scientific Exploration of Venus | NASA Solar System Exploration

ISRO has already selected 12 instruments, proposed by Indian scientists, including cameras and chemical analyzers to study the atmosphere. The deadline for submitting proposals is 20 December.

ISRO has adopted that idea, says Sivan, but will develop the balloon in-house. It will carry 10 kilograms of instruments and float down to 55 kilometers above the surface. All rights Reserved.

In this virtual version, 2. Some of this information may be filled in by the Akatsuki mission, which is observing the Venusian weather systems in unprecedented detail. The spacecraft was supposed to enter orbit about the planet in , but after its main engine blew out, it instead spent five years drifting around the sun like a miniature artificial planet.

Last year, scientists used altitude thrusters to redirect it into an orbit, and the mission could yet answer longstanding questions about our planetary neighbour, including whether it has volcanic activity, whether lightning strikes in the sky and why its atmosphere is rotating 60 times faster than the planet itself. However, searching for traces of ancient microbial life would need a lander, and would be significantly more challenging.

Details of the study are also published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.


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Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Venus. The current scientific view of Venus holds that, at some point in the past, the planet had much more water than its bone-dry atmosphere suggests today — perhaps even oceans.


  • The Scientific Exploration of Venus by Fredric W. Taylor.
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  • But as the Sun grew hotter and brighter a natural consequence of aging , surface temperatures rose on Venus, eventually vaporizing any oceans and seas. Whether Earth-style plate tectonics where the outer layer of the planet is broken into large, mobile pieces ever operated on Venus is unknown. Water is critical for plate tectonics to operate, and a runaway greenhouse effect would effectively shut down that process had it operated there.

    Observations and explorations of Venus

    Indeed, the average surface age of Venus is around million years — very old, certainly, but much younger than the multi-billion-year-old surfaces of Mars, Mercury or the Moon. Humans know less about Venus than we do about the other inner solar system planets, largely because the planet poses several unique challenges to its exploration.

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    For example, radar is needed to pierce the opaque, sulfuric acid clouds and see the surface. It was once the darling of planetary exploration: between the s and s, some 35 missions were dispatched to the second planet.