ESA announces orbiter to study Venus

European Space Agency (ESA) has announced about its probe called ‘EnVision’ to study Venus, after American Space agency NASA decided to send two missions to the planet.

About EnVision

  • EnVision will be the next orbiter to circle over Venus. It will provide a holistic view of planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere.
  • It will determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently, even though they lie in habitable zone to the Sun as opposed to Nasa probes DAVINCI+ and VERITAS which will enter into atmosphere of Venus.
  • ESA will launch its probe by 2030.

Why Venus is attracting scientists?

Venus is the closest neighbour of Earth in inner solar system. It is similar in size & composition to Earth. Despite that, both the planets have evolved differently. Venus is not inhabitable like Earth but has witnessed severe climatic changes. It has developed a toxic atmosphere which is enshrouded with thick sulphuric acid-rich clouds.

What EnVision will study?

Orbiter Envision will be loaded with a sounder which will study underground layering, and spectrometer which will study atmosphere & surface. Spectrometers will monitor trace gases in atmosphere and analyse surface composition and look for any changes which could be linked to signs of active volcanism. A radio science experiment on orbiter will probe internal structure and gravity field of planet.

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