NASA missions may go to Venus or our solar system’s strangest moons

By Leah Crane

An artist’s conception of the VERITAS spacecraft, a proposed mission to Venus for NASA’s Discovery programmeNASA/JPL-CaltechNASA has selected four possible missions to visit some of our solar system’s least understood worlds. These proposals were chosen as part of the agency’s Discovery programme, which funds relatively inexpensive missions within our solar system.
Of the four selections, two are missions to Venus. The first, DAVINCI+ – Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus – proposes to send a spacecraft plummeting through the planet’s savagely hot and dense atmosphere to measure its composition from top to bottom. This would help us understand how the atmosphere formed and whether Venus ever had oceans on its surface.
Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy (VERITAS) would orbit Venus with…

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