NASA has just selected two new missions to Venus: DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) and VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy). Each mission will be awarded $500-million for development and expected to launch between 2028 – 2030. DAVINCI+ is set to measure the composition of Venus’ atmosphere to understand how it formed and evolved, as well as determine whether the planet ever had an ocean. Read more for a video and additional information.

The DAVINCI+ mission consists of a descent sphere that will plunge through the planet’s thick atmosphere and also return the first high resolution pictures of the unique geological features on Venus known as “tesserae”. VERITAS’ goal is to map Venus’ surface to determine the planet’s geologic history and understand why it developed so differently than our own. It will orbit the planet with a synthetic aperture radar, and chart surface elevations over nearly the entire planet to create 3D reconstructions of topography as well as confirm whether processes such as plate tectonics / volcanism are still active.

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We’re revving up our planetary science program with intense exploration of a world that NASA hasn’t visited in over 30 years. Using cutting-edge technologies that NASA has developed and refined over many years of missions and technology programs, we’re ushering in a new decade of Venus to understand how an Earth-like planet can become a hothouse. Our goals are profound. It is not just understanding the evolution of planets and habitability in our own solar system, but extending beyond these boundaries to exoplanets, an exciting and emerging area of research for NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science.

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