NASA’s DAVINCI Mission

NASA is set to launch a mission called “DAVINCI Mission”. DAVINCI stands for “Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging Mission”.

About DAVINCI Mission

  • The mission will fly by Venus and explore its harsh atmosphere in 2029.
  • It will be the first mission to study Venus by means of both flybys and descent.
  • Spacecraft is likely to explore layered Venusian atmosphere.
  • It will reach Venusian surface by June 2031.
  • The mission would capture data about Venus, that scientists are trying to measure since early 1980s.

Which missions have visited earlier?

Before this mission, only two NASA missions have visited earlier, namely, Pioneer in 1978 and Magellan in early ’90s.

DAVINCI Spacecraft as chemistry lab

DAVINCI spacecraft will serve as a flying chemistry lab. It can measure different aspects of atmosphere and climate of Venus. Spacecraft will take the first descent images of its highlands. Instruments on the spacecraft will also be able to map Venusian surface as well as detect composition of mountainlike highlands of Venus’. This lab will paint a picture of layered Venus’s atmosphere as well as the picture of how it interacts with surface in Alpha Regio mountains.

Tesserae Features

Features called tesserae on Venus, might be similar to continents on Earth. This means that, Venus may have plate tectonics.

Significance of the measurements

  • These measurements by DAVINCI will allow researchers in evaluating historical aspects of atmosphere and detect special rock types at surface of the planet, like granites.
  • It will also look for tell-tale landscape features, thus will talk about erosion or other formational processes.
  • It will also investigate about the possibility of an ocean on Venus’s surface, by measuring gases and components of water in its atmosphere.

Climate and Oceans on Venus

According to a 2016 study, by physical scientist Michael Way, there were climate and oceans on Venus in its past. However, now it is mostly a dead planet with a toxic atmosphere, which is 90 times thicker than Earth’s atmosphere. Surface temperatures of the planet can reach to 462 degrees Celsius.

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