Η NASA announced earlier this month two new missions to Venus. Now, the European Space Agency (ESA) also announces its own plans to send the vessel EnVision on the closest planet to Earth.
Aphrodite is also named sister planet or twin planet Earth, but the Earth is a place friendly to human life, with water, while Venus has an atmosphere consisting of 96,5% of carbon dioxide and 3,5% of nitrogen. The main component of the clouds above the layer of carbon dioxide, is sulfuric acid and the temperature is too high. EnVision will provide “a holistic view of the planet from the inner core to the upper atmosphere to determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently".
ESA will not be completely alone in this mission. THE NASA will be a partner and will provide a radar instrument called Vensar to make high-resolution measurements of the planet's surface. EnVision will also monitor atmospheric gases, analyze surface composition and look for signs of active volcanoes.
Experts are particularly interested in studying Venus' atmosphere, especially after a 2020 publication found that gas phosphine, which sometimes has biological origin, may exist in the clouds of the planet. Another spacecraft, the BepiColombo, headed for Mercury, stopped to do some measurements on Venus in late 2020. Researchers wonder if Venus was once habitable, or if it can host some form of microbial life now.
Her missions NASA in Aphrodite will most likely start in 2028-2030, while ESA plans to send EnVision to the planet in early 2030.
"Along with the recently announced missions under the leadership of NASA, we will have an extremely comprehensive scientific program on this enigmatic planet by the next decade.Said the Director of Science at ESA, Günther Hasinger, on Thursday.
However, it is not just NASA and ESA who want to explore Venus. The Japanese Space Agency, JAXA, has long been sending a spacecraft to study the atmosphere of Venus.