The DAVINCI mission will be launched in 2029 and will search for clues about supposed past lives on Venus .
NASA has revealed its plans for the DAVINCI mission with which it wants to explore the far reaches of Venus ‘ atmosphere .
Named after artist Leonardo da Vinci, DAVINCI will be the first probe to enter the atmosphere of Venus since 1985, when the USSR sent Vega. With its launch in 2029, it will seek to answer a question: did the planet have life?
In a recently published article, NASA scientists and engineers provide new details about the agency’s Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission , which will descend through the layers of Venus ‘ atmosphere. to the planet’s surface in mid-2031
DAVINCI, a flying analytical chemistry laboratory, will for the first time measure critical aspects of Venus’s massive atmosphere and climate system, many of which have been measurement targets of the planet since the early 1980s .
It will also provide the first ever descent image of Venus ‘ mountainous highlands while mapping its rocky composition and surface relief at scales not possible from orbit.
The mission supports measurements of undiscovered gases present in trace amounts and in the deeper atmosphere, including the key ratio of hydrogen isotopes, components of water that help reveal water’s history, either as oceans of liquid water or as vapor within the primitive atmosphere.
A decade of new knowledge
“The probe will land in the Alpha Regio mountains, but it is not required to operate once it lands, as all required scientific data will be taken before reaching the surface.” said Stephanie Getty, deputy principal investigator at Goddard. “If we survive the landing at about 25 miles per hour (12 meters/second), we could have up to 17-18 minutes of surface operations under ideal conditions.”
DAVINCI is tentatively scheduled to launch in June 2029 and enter the atmosphere of Venus in June 2031.
“No previous mission inside the atmosphere of Venus has measured the chemistry or the environments in the detail that the DAVINCI probe can do, ” he noted. “Furthermore, no previous Venus missions have landed on the tessera highlands, and none have ever imaged descent of the surface of Venus. DAVINCI will build on what the Huygens probe did on Titan and improve on what previous Venus in situ missions have done, but with 21st century capabilities and sensors.”