Mars? That’s Old News. Welcome to the Decade of Venus | Digital Trends

The three new venusian explorers will be two NASA missions, DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, and one European Space Agency mission, EnVision. Lest you imagine there is any animosity between rival Venus missions, both researchers we spoke to expressed delight and excitement at having multiple missions to collect data from this planet.

The three missions will be complementary: DAVINCI+ will look at Venus’s atmosphere, VERITAS, will be looking at Venus on a global level, and EnVision will be imaging around a quarter of the surface in a much more targeted way. The instruments will be different too, as EnVision has both radar imaging and a sounder for looking beneath the surface.

“VERITAS is going to look at the deep subsurface, looking at the lithosphere,” Whitten explained. “But with EnVision, they’ll be able to look at the very near subsurface to understand what its structure might be.”

With the three missions in combination, we should be able to learn about Venus from top to bottom, from the thick atmosphere all the way down to its deep core. Eventually, we could learn as much about this planet as its better-explored sister, Mars.

“There are different focuses for each of these [missions],” Whitten said. “But on the whole, all three of these are telling us that Venus is a key to understanding what’s going on on Earth. It’s very exciting, the prospect of having a Venus program similar to a Mars program.”

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