In June 2029, the space agency’s DAVINCI mission will launch, aiming to delve through the harsh layers of the atmosphere to the planet’s surface by the end of 2031.
“Our mission will launch in 2029, fly twice around the sun, mapping Venus each time, and land in June 2031,” said Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI).
NASA scientists and engineers have revealed new details about the mission in a article recently published on The Planetary Science Journal. Scientists hope to learn more about the evolution of Venus from a “possibly habitable planet” to a “hot terrestrial exoplanet”.
“This set of chemical, environmental and descent imaging data will paint a picture of the layered atmosphere of Venus and will analyze the interaction with the surface in the mountains of Alpha Regio, which is twice the size of Texas,” Jim Garvin, principal book author and DAVINCI principal investigator of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in a press release.
“These measurements will allow us to assess historical aspects of the atmosphere, as well as detect the different special types of rocks on the surface, such as granites, while also looking for telltale landscape features that can inform us about erosion or other formation processes.”
How will scientists obtain these measurements? Using the DAVINCI deep atmosphere probe. According to NASA, this spacecraft is a flying analytical chemistry laboratory that will measure key aspects of Venus’ atmosphere-climate system. It will also take the first images of the mountainous terrain of Venus while mapping its rocky composition.
The mission’s carrier and relay spacecraft have technology that will study the planet’s clouds and map its mountainous areas during flybys.
NASA says it will take two years to get the probe into position to enter Venus’ atmosphere.