DAVINCI Probe's Eye View

  • Released Tuesday, July 27, 2021
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The Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging or DAVINCI mission will bring the best possible instrumentation to the massive Venus atmosphere to decipher its evolutionary history, the role of water perhaps as oceans, and how it may inform how we investigate exo-planets around nearby stars. Named in honor of the Renaissance visionary Leonardo da Vinci, this new NASA mission to Venus will send a meter-diameter “Probe” to Venus in 2029 bristling with instruments that can measure the atmosphere and surface in ways not possible in the past 50 years of exploration, building off what has been successful at Mars on the Curiosity rover. DAVINCI’s transect of the Venus atmosphere from near the cloud-tops to the surface in an ancient continental region known as Alpha Regio (more than two times the size of Texas) will put Venus into context relative to Earth and Mars, and enable our sister planet Venus to contribute to the understanding of rocky, atmosphere-bearing exoplanets that will be explored by new Astrophysical observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). DAVINCI’s mission includes two compelling flybys of Venus prior to “taking the plunge” with the Probe spacecraft which will acquire movies of cloud motions and search for clues to mystery chemical absorbers in the highest altitude clouds. The descent camera on DAVINCI will enable human-scale imaging of the enigmatic ‘tessera’ highlands of Venus with direct information on composition and relief. These measurements will serve as a legacy for decades to come as other missions map Venus from orbit and prepare for an era of potentially astrobiological reconnaissance of our magical sister world. DAVINCI is a partnership between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) and Lockheed Martin (Denver, CO), with instruments from NASA’s Goddard, JPL, Malin Space Science Systems, and key supporting hardware from Johns Hopkins APL and the University of Michigan.


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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This page was originally published on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:44 PM EDT.