NASA described Venus as “a dark world full of heat and volcanic activity.” Its toxic atmosphere and temperature melt lead, making it a tricky place to explore. That’s why NASA is interested in a new spacecraft design proposed by a team at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
NASA chose the team’s Bioinspired Ray for Extreme Environment and Regional Exploration for the agency’s Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) program. THE NIAC program funds early space research projects that “could change all possibilities in space.”
Breeze is still just a concept. The team at the Aerospace Structure and Hybrid Aircraft Collision Resistance (CRASH) laboratory at the State University of New York at Buffalo envisioned a solar-powered spacecraft whose wings beat to mimic the movement of the “devilfish” in the water.
“The design provides an effective use of the strong winds in Venus’ upper atmosphere while providing scientists with unparalleled control,” the State University of New York at Buffalo said in a press release Monday. “
Venus’s dark side is back to the sun for a long time, but Breeze will be designed to charge on the sun and then return to the dark to collect data on Venus’ atmosphere, weather and volcanic activity.
While Breeze is still a long way from becoming a real spacecraft, NASA is already looking for ways to learn more about Venus. The agency has considered building a probe called the Long Life In Sin in Sin Explorer to study the desolate surface of Venus.