The first Venus Life Finder mission is set to launch in 2023, managed and funded by California-based Rocket Lab. It will be led by MIT scientists and take off on an Electron rocket, which is set to transport a 50-pound probe on board its Photon spacecraft for the five-month, 38-million-mile journey to Venus, all in hopes of spending minutes in Venusian clouds. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The probe will be carrying a laser instrument designed specifically for this mission, and aims to detect signs that complex chemistry is occurring within the droplets it encounters on its brief descent into the haze. If it detects fluorescence or impurities in the droplets, this could indicate that there could be more than just sulfuric acid in the atmosphere. Why is this important Well, if there is life on Venus, it’s probably some type of microbial-type life that resides inside cloud particles.
- Multi coated optics
- Large aperture perfect for low light conditions and stargazing
- Tripod adapter 13 millimeter (0.51 inch) long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers; Linear Field of View (at 1000 yards) / at 1000 meter) 231 feet (77 meter)
- Diopter adjustment for fine focusing; Angular field of view 4.4 degrees
- Large 70 millimeter objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low light and long range conditions
We hope this is the start of a new paradigm where you go cheaply, more often, and in a more focused way. This is a newer, nimbler, faster way to do space science. It’s very MIT. People have been talking about missions to Venus for a long time. But we’ve come up with a new suite of focused, miniaturized instruments to get the particular job done,” said Sara Seager, principal investigator for the planned Venus Life Finder Missions.