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NASA Plans Two New Missions to Venus; New Zealand Made a Space Agreement With NASA

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NASA plans two new missions to Venus DAVINCI+ and VERITAS

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to implement two new missions DAVINCI+ and VERITAS to Venus, Earth’s nearest also called sister planet. NASA will spend $500 million for each mission. Both missions will be expected to launch between 2028-2030.

  • DAVINCI+ (short for Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging),
  • VERITAS (an acronym for Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy).

Aim -Mission aims to study the atmospheric and geological features of Venus, also known as Earth’s sister planet. The closest planet to Earth and the second planet from the Sun, Venus is similar in structure but slightly smaller and much warmer than Earth.

Details of DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging)

i.This mission will measure the composition of Venus’ atmosphere to understand how it formed and evolved, as well as determine whether the planet ever had an ocean.

ii. It will examine the measurements of noble gases and other elements to understand why Venus’ atmosphere is a runaway hothouse compared to the Earth’s.

iii.This mission consisting of a fly-by spacecraft that expected to return the first high-resolution images of unique geological characteristics on Venus called “tesserae.”

iv.DAVINCI+ will host the Compact Ultraviolet to Visible Imaging Spectrometer (CUVIS) built by Goddard.

Details of  VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)

i.This mission will map Venus’ surface to determine the planet’s geologic history and understand why it developed so differently than Earth.

ii. The purpose of this mission is to create 3D reconstructions of the topography and to ensure that processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism are still active on Venus, listing the surface elevations of almost the entire planet.

iii. VERITAS will host the Deep Space Atomic Clock-2, built by JPL and funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

New Zealand made a space agreement with NASA

  • New Zealand becomes the latest country to sign a space agreement with NASA.
  • New Zealand became the eleventh signatory to the Artemis Agreement, a blueprint for space cooperation and supporting the U.S. space agency’s plans to return humans to the moon by 2024 and to launch a historic human mission to Mars.
  • The other signatories are the U.S., Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine. Brazil also plans to join.

About National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA)
It is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.
Established in – 1958
Headquarters – Washington, D.C., United States
Administrator –Bill Nelson (14th administrator of NASA on May 2021)