Although Venus is now almost like the backdrop for a horror sci-fi movie, some studies suggest that Venus may have lived in life in the past. To clarify the question of whether Venus was habitable in the past, a US advisory panel recommended that NASA build the Venus Flagship probe to get an answer. The probe is expected to cost $2 billion and could take years to complete.
The flagship mission is the most expensive project category in NASA’s Planetary Science division, and the flagship mission currently under construction includes the Europa Express, which aims to better understand the possibilities of life on Jupiter’s moon, Europa.
Recently, despite some scientists’ proposals to probe Venus, they have been tasked with small-level missions, which Martha Gilmore, a geologist at Wesleyan University and lead researcher on the Venus flagship mission, and colleagues say are wrong. They hope to persuade NASA to assign the most expensive mission to Venus, SpaceX reported recently.
Man has not set foot on Venus since a U.S. spacecraft visited it in 1994. Given NASA’s tight budget, the team is working hard to work on the project. “There’s a lot of money NASA needs over the next 10 years, and we hope that $2 billion will be able to achieve a Venus exploration mission,” Gilmore said. “
The team says the Venus flagship probe could be complicated if it becomes a reality. It will include a main orbiter, two or more smaller orbiters, two short-lived landers that will study Venus’ atmosphere during the descent (spacecraft landing on its surface will stop operating for several hours due to Venus’ harsh environment), a balloon-based aerial platform and a long-life lander.
All of these devices will investigate three different aspects of Venus’ liveability. The first is to understand the history of their volatile compounds, such as water, and how their appearance or disappearance affects the potential of life to survive on Venus, and instruments performing these missions may include mineral and chemical detectors operating on the surface of Venus, as well as rail radars.
The second is Venus’s surface climate history and the current relationship between its surface and atmosphere, using key instruments that may include in-orbit near-infrared imagers and surface chemistry analyzers.
Finally, the probe will learn about the geological activity on Venus and its causes, including using a seismometer to understand the inner structure of Venus.