The Plan to Look for Life on Venus—Without NASA

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/NASA

Venus is a nasty planet. Thick layers of high-pressure, sulfuric clouds cover a very hot volcanic surface, which can rise up to as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nevertheless, astrobiologists believe there could be life—or evidence of past life—in those noxious clouds on Earth’s nearest neighbor, 150 million miles away. If so, it might be stranger than any life we’ve ever observed on our own planet.

For all its promise as the place to make first-contact, Venus is a pretty low priority for the two space agencies in the world with the most resources for interplanetary missions: NASA and the European Space Agency. Both agencies have plans to visit Venus. NASA’s Davinci Plus+ probe will measure the composition of Venus’ atmosphere in order to understand how it evolved, and its Veritas mission will map the planet’s rocky surface. The ESA mission, EnVision, is a “holistic” survey of Venus, from clouds to surface.

Read more at The Daily Beast.


Source: The Daily Beast

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