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Thread: ESA's Venus mission - EnVision mission

  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    ESA's Venus mission - EnVision mission

    ESA's mission is in the highlight as German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have now developed a way of determining the nature of the planet's surface using new instruments from orbit.

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/B...dings_999.html

    Venus is Earth's sister planet. It is almost exactly the same size and orbits on average only 40 million kilometres closer to the Sun. However, the two planets developed in very different ways. On Earth, continents formed, separated by oceans. Then some three and a half billion years ago, life emerged under its atmosphere and evolved into the vast variety of organisms that we know today. Things happened very differently on Venus, which is surrounded by an atmosphere of gas a hundred times thicker than that of Earth. Within it, the extreme greenhouse effect results in a constant surface temperature of 470 degrees Celsius - a temperature at which water would instantly evaporate and even lead would melt. The planet is permanently enveloped in thick clouds of sulphuric acid, making it impossible for telescopes on Earth or instruments on board spacecraft to acquire even a glimpse of the surface. Scientists have managed, however, to map its landscape using radar. And now, through a series of laboratory experiments, DLR researchers have developed a new method for determining the nature of the planet's surface from orbit.

    "For a good ten years, we have been using a unique laboratory facility to measure the emission properties of various rocks of the kind we might expect to find on Venus under the same extreme conditions that prevail on the planet," says Jorn Helbert, Head of DLR's Planetary Spectroscopy Laboratory (PSL) and lead author of a research paper that has now been published in Science Advances magazine. "The reflectance and emissivity of rocks change when they are exposed to the high temperatures that you find on Venus. As a result, spectral profiles measured at terrestrial temperatures cannot simply be applied there. But now, we have a tool that we can use as the basis for new instruments on the next planned missions to Venus that will finally allow us to determine which types of rock exist there."
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    97
    EnVision's mission is needed to move from speculating that phosphine "may" be an indicator of life on Venus to claiming that this gas is a confirmed sign of life on the planet

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