NASA will head to Venus for first time in roughly 30 years
Two spacecraft aim to solve deep mysteries about the nearby planet, including why it resembles a hellish, toxic version of Earth.
NASA had a surprise in store for planetary scientists today: During a “State of NASA” briefing, the agency announced that roiling, toxic Venus will be the target of the next two missions in its highly competitive Discovery program.
“These two sister missions, both aimed to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world capable of melting lead at the surface—they will offer the entire science community the chance to investigate a planet we haven’t been to in more than 30 years,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said during the briefing. “We hope these missions will help further our understanding of how Earth evolved and why it’s currently habitable, when other [rocky planets] in our solar system are not.”