ESA has just selected Envision’s probe to study the second planet from the Sun!

The European Space Agency

The European Space Agency has just selected Envision’s probe to study the second planet from the Sun. The announcements were made by ESA 1 week after NASA chose two Venus projects of its own, known as Davinci+ and Veritas. The destination isn’t the only overlap; The US and Europe in the form of hosted instrumentation will contribute to each other’s efforts.

“All three of the missions are highly complementary,” Dr. Philippa Mason, an Envision science team member from Imperial College London, UK, told BBC News. From the end of this decade, the trio will start launching observation campaigns that run through the early to mid-2030s. Envision should arrive around 2034/35.

Venus is often called Earth’s evil twin. It is almost the same size as the Earth; it’s hellishly hot and dry.

Dr. Colin Wilson from Oxford University, UK, pondered: “Venus is our nearest neighbor and the only Earth-sized planet we can visit. It’s geologically active, we think. And if that’s the case we want to know why Venus didn’t turn out like Earth? Or, perhaps, the even better question is: why didn’t Earth develop like Venus? How come we got the habitable climate?” He also said the Esa project would be highly focused in nature as he helped scope Envision.

Whereas the two US missions similar, Veritas, will make global maps, geological and volcanic activities. The European probe will concentrate on regions that will be a small portion of the planet. Enigmatic tesserae these are. The Venusian equivalent of Earth’s continents they’ve been described as. They are deformed and high and possibly represent among the oldest terrains on the planets. The purpose of Envision will is to determine their composition.

The new wave of venus missions will go some way to establishing whether and to what extent this engine has operated at Venus through history. Envision will carry six experiments. The principal sensor will be a synthetic aperture radar that will go through the thick clouds on the planet to map surface features down to a resolution of 10m per pixel. To a depth of a kilometer, a 2nd radar will sound below-surface features. Three of the remaining four instruments are spectrometers that will look for hotspots on Venus and track gases in its atmosphere.

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