NASA has just announced $3 million each to four teams to bring their solar system exploration dreams closer to reality,media reported. Two of the scientific teams targeted Venus, while the other two focused on Io and Neptune satellite, Haiwei Triton.
“These selected missions have the potential to change our understanding of the most active and complex world seiniplanet seinia of the solar system,” Thomas Zurbuchen, deputy director of NASA’s Science Mission Stogen, said in a press release. Exploring any of these objects will help uncover the secrets of how it and other similar objects entered the universe. “
The four teams are the finalists for NASA’s next expedition. The exploration-level mission is considered NASA’s “small” planetary science mission. The projects, which cost no more than $450 million, are designed to complement NASA’s larger solar system exploration missions, including the medium-sized New Frontiers mission and the flagship Solar System Exploration mission.
Of the four teams selected on Thursday, no more than two will actually be fully funded. The $3 million they have just received will be used to develop a mission plan and a mission-related concept within nine months. Finally, each team will submit a study to NASA and wait for the final results.
Here are four of NASA’s picks on Thursday:
VERITAS – VERITAS stands for Venus emission, radio science, interferometry topographic measurements, terrain and spectroscopy. It focuses on mapping the surface of Venus and collecting data on how and why the planet develops with Earth.
DAVINCI – DAVINCI , which stands for “Rare Gas, Chemical and Imaging in Venus’s Deep Atmosphere”, is also intended to enter Venus, as the name suggests. But the mission will focus on the gas around Venus. One of the highlights of the potential mission is an in-depth exploration of Venus’ atmosphere. Its goal is to understand how Venus’ atmosphere evolved and whether there are oceans.
The IVO-Io Volcano Observer mission will probe Io, the most volcanically active object in the solar system. The mission will closely monitor Io’s extreme volcanic activity and try to learn more about the satellite’s structure.
Trident – The mission will probe Triton, one of Neptune’s satellites. The fly-on mission will map the surface of The Sea Guard and look for clues as to whether it really has a predicted underground ocean.
Current exploration missions include the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Mars InSight probe. In 2017, NASA has selected two other exploration-level missions, which will be launched in the next few years. Lucy will launch in 2021 and will explore seven asteroids, while Psyche will launch in 2023 and will explore giant metal asteroids.
NASA is expected to finally decide next year which of the four latest projects will be fully funded.