NASA Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation on Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging

DAVINCI + will send a one meter diameter probe to brave high temperatures and pressures near the surface of Venus to explore the atmosphere from above the clouds to near the surface of land that could have been beyond a continent. During its final kilometers of free-falling descent (pictured here), the spacecraft will for the first time capture spectacular images and chemical measurements of Venus’s deepest atmosphere. Credit: NASA GSFC visualization by CI Labs Michael Lentz and others

Launched in 2029, ">NasaDeep atmosphere ">Venus The DAVINCI (Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) mission will provide Venus with a rich suite of instruments to answer long-standing questions about Earth’s sister planet. Some scientists believe that Venus may once have looked more like Earth, with pleasant oceans and surface temperatures – data from DAVINCI will help us determine if this intriguing possibility is true.

Clues to Venus’ mysterious past may be hidden in atmospheric gases or in surface rocks formed in association with ancient water in the mountainous highlands of the planet. During two flyovers, the DAVINCI carrier, relay and imager spacecraft will collect data on the diurnal side of the planet on unknown compounds that absorb ultraviolet light in the upper atmosphere of Venus with an instrument called a compact ultraviolet imaging spectrometer. to visible (CUVIS); On the night side of the planet, the Venus Imaging System for Observational Reconnaissance (VISOR) will detect the heat of the surface of Venus emerging from below the clouds to help us better understand the makeup of the various geological regions of the highlands. lands of Venus. VISOR will also study clouds on the diurnal side of Venus in the ultraviolet, producing motion pictures of clouds.

Venus has a hotter surface hotter than your home oven, and a complex atmosphere 90 times thicker than Earth’s, made up mostly of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid. acid clouds.

Two years after launch, the DAVINCI descent sphere will be released by the carrier spacecraft into this extreme environment to provide new direct measurements of the atmosphere of Venus and reveal a bird’s eye view of the surface below the clouds. The place of descent, the “tessera” of Alpha Regio, is a mountainous region of the highlands whose rocks may contain clues to the mysterious past of the planet. The titanium sphere is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the Venus environment while protecting the instruments tucked inside.

The Venus Tunable Laser Spectrometer (VTLS) will measure key gases that offer clues to the planet’s past, including compounds that may hint at the possible history of past water. The Venus Mass Spectrometer (VMS) will study the atmosphere in detail, including noble gases and trace gases 67 km from the near surface. The Venus Atmospheric Structure Survey (VASI) will measure pressure, temperature, and winds throughout the descent.

Looking through a transparent sapphire window at the bottom of the descent sphere, the Venus Descent Imager (VenDI) will map the topography and 3D composition of Alpha Regio, with topographic resolution at scales below one meter. . Finally, an experiment in collaboration with students called the Venus Oxygen Fugacity (VfOx) experiment will be mounted on the probe to measure oxygen in the deep atmosphere. Together, this dataset will help rewrite textbooks on Venus and may even help us better understand Venus-like planets in other solar systems.


NASA has selected the DAVINCI + (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble-gases, Chemistry and Imaging +) mission as part of its Discovery program, and this will be the first probe to enter the atmosphere of Venus from the Pioneer Venus of the NASA in 1978 and the USSR Vega in 1985. Named in honor of Leonardo da Vinci, artist and visionary scientist of the Renaissance, the DAVINCI + mission will bring 21st century technologies to the world next door. DAVINCI + could reveal if Earth’s sister planet looked more like Earth’s twin planet in the distant and possibly hospitable past with oceans and continents. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

DAVINCI is a partnership between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Lockheed Martin in Denver, Colorado, with instruments from NASA Goddard, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Malin Space Science Systems, and key support equipment from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the University of Michigan.

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