NASA announces two new missions to study Venus
© NASA

NASA on Wednesday announced two new missions to study Earth’s neighboring planet, Venus.

“In today's #StateOfNASA address, we announced two new @NASASolarSystem missions to study the planet Venus, which we haven't visited in over 30 years!” NASA tweeted.

“DAVINCI+ will analyze Venus’ atmosphere, and VERITAS will map Venus’ surface,” NASA added.

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DAVINCI+, or Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging, will investigate Venus’s atmosphere “to understand how it formed and evolved, as well as determine whether the planet ever had an ocean,” according to the press release.

VERITAS, or Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy, will be investigating the geological history of the planet and “chart surface elevations over nearly the entire planet to create 3D reconstructions of topography and confirm whether processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism are still active on Venus.”

The missions are expected to occur at the end of the decade between 2028 and 2030.

“We’re revving up our planetary science program with intense exploration of a world that NASA hasn’t visited in over 30 years,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science. 

“Using cutting-edge technologies that NASA has developed and refined over many years of missions and technology programs, we’re ushering in a new decade of Venus to understand how an Earth-like planet can become a hothouse,” he added.