NASA’s DAVINCI space probe plunges into Venus’ hellish atmosphere

NASA’s DAVINCI mission will study Venus’ origin, evolution and current state in unprecedented detail, from the cloud tops to its surface. The mission’s goal is to help answer long-standing questions about our neighboring planet, particularly whether Venus is as wet and habitable as Earth.Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Last year, NASA selected the Da Vinci mission as part of its discovery program.Investigate origin, development and status[{” attribute=””>Venus in unparalleled detail from near the top of the clouds to the planet’s surface. Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system, has a thick, toxic atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide and an incredible pressure of pressure is 1,350 psi (93 bar) at the surface.

Named after visionary Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, the DAVINCI mission Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging will be the first probe to enter the Venus atmosphere since

NASA has selected the DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmospheric Survey for Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging+) mission as part of its discovery program, which will be the first to enter the atmosphere of Venus since NASA astronauts Venus and Soviet Vega in 1978 detector. 1985 Named the DAVINCI+ mission for Renaissance artist and scholar Leonardo da Vinci to bring 21st century technology to the next world. DAVINCI+ could reveal whether Earth’s sister planets look a lot like Earth twins in the distant past, possibly fitting oceans and continents.Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The mission’s Carry, Relay and Imaging (CRIS) spacecraft has two instruments on board to study planetary clouds and map mountains as Venus flies overhead, and will also launch a small five-instrument lander that will provide a variety of new The measurements were made down to the hellish surface of Venus with remarkably high precision.

“This chemistry, environment and ancestry dataset will map the layers of Venus’ atmosphere and how they interact with the surface of the Alfareggio Mountains, which are twice the size of Texas,” lead author Jim Gavin said. From a research article by the Journal of Planetary Science and Principal Investigator DAVINCI at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “These measurements will allow us to assess historical aspects of the atmosphere and detect special types of rocks on the surface, such as granite, while also looking for landscape features that can inform us of erosion or other formation processes.”

DAVINCI will send a one-meter-diameter probe to withstand the high temperatures and pressures near the surface of Venus to explore the atmosphere above the clouds until it gets close to the topographical surface of what could be an ancient continent. During its final few kilometers of free fall (artist’s impressions are shown here), the spacecraft will capture for the first time stunning images and chemical measurements of Venus’ deepest atmosphere.Image credit: NASA/GSFC/CI Labs

DAVINCI will use three types of Venusian gravity assist devices that use the planet’s gravity to change the speed and/or direction of the CRIS flight system to provide fuel. The first two gravitational assistants will help CRIS prepare for the Venus flyby to perform ultraviolet and near-infrared remote sensing, obtaining more than 60 gigabytes of new data on the atmosphere and surface. Venus’ third gravitational assist will create spacecraft to launch probes for entry, descent, descent and landing, and subsequent transmission back to Earth.

The first flyby of Venus will take place six and a half months after launch, and it will take two years for the spacecraft to re-enter the atmosphere above the Alpha Zone in perfect “noon” lighting to measure the landscape of Venus. Scales of Venus From 328 feet (100 meters) to over a meter. These instruments allow for land-based geological studies in the mountains of Venus without the need for a landing.

Da Vinci Deep Atmosphere Probe descends through Venus' dense carbon dioxide atmosphere

The DAVINCI Deep Atmosphere Probe travels through Venus’ dense carbon dioxide atmosphere, descending toward the Alpharegio Mountains.Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

When CRIS is about two days away from Venus, the spacecraft’s flight system will launch with the three-foot (one-meter) titanium spacecraft within it. The probe will begin interacting with Venus’ upper atmosphere 120 kilometers above the surface. The science probe will begin scientific observations after the heat shield is removed about 67 kilometers above the surface.With the heat shield removed, the probe’s inlet will swallow a sample of atmospheric gases for detailed chemical measurements[{” attribute=””>Mars with the Curiosity rover. During its hour-long descent to the surface, the probe will also acquire hundreds of images as soon as it emerges under the clouds at around 100,000 feet (30,500 meters) above the local surface.

“The probe will touch-down in the Alpha Regio mountains but is not required to operate once it lands, as all of the required science data will be taken before reaching the surface.” said Stephanie Getty, deputy principal investigator from Goddard. “If we survive the touchdown at about 25 miles per hour (12 meters/second), we could have up to 17-18 minutes of operations on the surface under ideal conditions.”

DAVINCI is tentatively scheduled to launch June 2029 and enter the Venusian atmosphere in June 2031.

“No previous mission within the Venus atmosphere has measured the chemistry or environments at the detail that DAVINCI’s probe can do,” said Garvin. “Furthermore, no previous Venus mission has descended over the tesserae highlands of Venus, and none have conducted descent imaging of the Venus surface. DAVINCI will build on what Huygens probe did at Titan and improve on what previous in situ Venus missions have done, but with 21st century capabilities and sensors.”

Reference: “Revealing the Mysteries of Venus: The DAVINCI Mission” by James B. Garvin, Stephanie A. Getty, Giada N. Arney, Natasha M. Johnson, Erika Kohler, Kenneth O. Schwer, Michael Sekerak, Arlin Bartels, Richard S. Saylor, Vincent E. Elliott, 24 May 2022, The Planetary Science Journal.
DOI: 10.3847/PSJ/ac63c2

NASA Goddard is the principal investigator institution for DAVINCI and will perform project management for the mission, provide science instruments as well as project systems engineering to develop the probe flight system. Goddard also leads the project science support team with an external science team from across the US. Discovery Program class missions like DAVINCI complement NASA’s larger “flagship” planetary science explorations, with the goal of achieving outstanding results by launching more smaller missions using fewer resources and shorter development times. They are managed for NASA’s Planetary Science Division by the Planetary Missions Program Office at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Major partners for DAVINCI are Lockheed Martin, Denver, Colorado, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, California, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Federal Airfield in California’s Silicon Valley, and KinetX, Inc., Tempe, Arizona, as well as the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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