NASA Prepares to Explore Venus with DAVINCI
Inspired by the Renaissance vision of Leonardo da Vinci, NASA is presently preparing its scientific return to Venus’ atmosphere and surface with a mission known as the “Deep Atmosphere of Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging” (DAVINCI). The DAVINCI mission will “take the plunge” into Venus’ enigmatic history using an instrumented deep atmosphere probe spacecraft that will carry five instruments for measuring the chemistry and environments throughout the clouds and to the surface, while also conducting the first descent imaging of a mountain system on Venus known as Alpha Regio, which may represent an ancient continent. In addition, the DAVINCI mission includes two science flybys of Venus during which it will search for clues to mystery molecules in the upper cloud deck while also measuring the rock types in some of Venus highland regions. All of these new and unique measurements will make the ‘exoplanet next door’ into a key place for understanding Earth and Venus sized exoplanets that may have similar histories to our sister planet. DAVINCI will pave the way for a series of missions by NASA and ESA in the 2030’s by opening the frontier as it searches for clues to whether Venus harbored oceans and how its atmosphere-climate system evolved over billions of years. DAVINCI’s science will address questions about habitability and how it could be “lost” as rocky planets evolve over time. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight center leads the DAVINCI Mission as the PI institution.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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