NASA’s DAVINCI+ gets ready for Venus

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FAIRMONT, W.VA. – Venus.

Earth’s sister planet was rumored to be like our globe many years ago, but until now, there hasn’t been much in the way of observing the planet’s surface in the 21st century.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson talks to the agency’s workforce during his first State of NASA event Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at NASA Headquarters Mary W. Jackson Building in Washington. Nelson remarked on his long history with NASA, and among other topics, discussed the agency’s plans for future Earth-focused missions to address climate change and a robotic and human return to the Moon through the Artemis program, as well as announcing two new planetary science missions to Venus – VERITAS and DAVINCI+. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

That is until Davinci+.

“Davinci is Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigations of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus, Plus meaning there could be a whole bunch of other instruments on the way.”

Dr. caitlin ahrens, nasa postdoctoral researcher at nasa’s goddard space flight center

Instruments that will measure Venus’s gases on its surface as well as temperature, pressure, and wind at its different heights.

Caitlin Ahrens, a Fairmont native and NASA Researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, says that its a way for us to see the layers of the second planet closest to the Sun in its evolved state.

“That’s truly going to launch itself through the atmosphere and take as much data as it can as it goes through the atmosphere and then lands.”

FILE – This image made available by NASA shows the planet Venus made with data produced by the Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter from 1990 to 1994. On Monday, June 28, 2021, European and U.S. scientists released a study saying there isn’t nearly enough water vapor in the scorching hot planet’s clouds to support life as we know it. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

Lands to find out clues to why, how, and when Venus’ climate may have changed so dramatically. This, it is doing through multiple cameras that track the planet’s cloud motions and see what the surface is made out of.

“It’s main purpose is to give us an idea of all of the different cloud layers of Venus and it’s going to have cameras at the bottom of it and provide pretty images, panoramic images as it can as it goes down.”

And these images will help us figure out how ancient oceans shaped Venus and much, much more.

This May 2016 photo provided by researcher Jane Greaves shows the planet Venus, seen from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Akatsuki probe. A report released on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 says astronomers have found a potential signal of life high in the atmosphere of our nearest neighboring planet. (J. Greaves/Cardiff University/JAXA via AP)

To find out more about the other mission going to Venus, VERITAS, please click here.

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