The European Space Agency (ESA) selected the spacecraft it intends to send to Venus in the early 1930s. The agency announced on its website Thursday that the chosen EnVision instrument will examine the planet from the core to the upper atmosphere to find out how and why Venus and Earth evolved very differently.
The European Space Agency announced this a week after the US space agency NASA announced that it plans to send two science missions to Venus at the end of this decade. You should focus on studying the atmosphere and the surface of the planet.
“We have a new era of exploration of our closest, but very different, neighbors in the solar system,” said Günther Hasinger, the agency’s scientific director, of the new ESA project. “Together with NASA’s newly announced missions to Venus, we will have a very comprehensive science program on this mysterious planet into the next decade,” he added.
Scientists wonder why our closest neighbors, with the same size and composition as Earth, are subject to such a dramatic climate change. Instead of being a habitable world like ours, it has a toxic atmosphere surrounded by thick clouds rich in sulfuric acid.
One of the main questions that experts are looking for answers to is what Venus went through in the past when it reached its current state, and could the same fate await Earth if it were subjected to a catastrophic global warming effect? Is Venus still geologically active, could there be an ocean, even life?
According to the European Space Agency, the EnVision spacecraft will be equipped with a range of instruments made in Europe to obtain the necessary data, including sonar that can distinguish underground layers of the Earth and spectrometers to examine the surface and atmosphere. The spectrometers will monitor the effect of gases in the atmosphere, analyze the composition of the surface, and look for any changes that may be associated with signs of volcanic activity.
NASA should also equip the EnVision mission with radar to capture and map the surface of Venus. In addition, the radio science experiment will investigate the internal structure and gravitational field of the planet, as well as the structure and composition of the atmosphere.