A private company from the United States will send a mission to Venus in order to search for traces of life on it, reports MIT News.
A new report, published by a group of scientists led by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, outlines the scientific plan and rationale for a series of diversified private missions to search for signs of life in the super-acidic atmosphere of a second planet from the Sun.
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They involve the launch of low-cost small spacecraft to detect life on Venus. One of the authors of the new research paper Sarah Seeger is confident that such a budgetary mission will become a faster way of developing space science.
The first of the missions is to be launched in 2023 under the management and funding of California-based Rocket Lab.
The company’s Electron rocket will send a 50-pound probe aboard its Photon spacecraft for a five-month journey of 38 million miles to Venus, all for a three-minute flight through Venus’s clouds. Using a laser designed specifically for the mission, the probe will seek to detect signs that a complex chemical process is taking place in the droplets it encounters when briefly immersed in haze.
Fluorescence or impurities found in the droplets may indicate that parts of Venus’s atmosphere may be habitable. Experts led by Sarah Seeger are convinced of the importance of studying Venus.
Several chemical anomalies on Venus lead scientists to think that life could exist there in one form or another.
But whatever is found in the 2023 mission, the next mission is already planned for 2026. This probe will include a larger payload with a balloon that can spend more time in the clouds of Venus and conduct more extensive experiments. As a result of this mission, a sample found in the atmosphere of Venus could be sent to Earth.