Group of Researcher Agrees That Venus Could Tell Us Something Vitally Important About Earth
Sue Smrekar really desires to return to Venus. from her office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and the planetary scientist shows a 30-year-old picture of Venus’ surface taken by the Magellan spacecraft, a reminder of how a lot of time has passed since an American mission orbited the planet. The picture reveals a hellish landscape: a young surface with extra volcanoes than every other body within the solar system, gigantic rifts, towering mountain belts, and temperatures hot sufficient to melt lead.
Now superheated by greenhouse gases, Venus’ climate was as soon as extra just like Earth’s, with a shallow ocean’s worth of water. It could even have subduction zones like Earth, areas where the planet’s crust sinks again into the rock that is near to the core of the planet.
NASA is interested in growing “hot technology” that may survive days, and even weeks, in extreme environments. Though Hall’s Venus lander idea did not make it to the next stage of the approval process, it did result in his present Venus-associated work: a heat-resistant drilling and sampling system that would take Venusian soil samples for evaluation. Hall works with Honeybee Robotics to evolve the next-generation electric motors that energy drills in extreme situations, whereas JPL engineer Joe Melko designs the pneumatic sampling system.
Together, they work with the prototypes in Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s steel-walled Large Venus Test Chamber, which mimics the situations of the planet right all the way down to an environment that is a suffocating 100 % carbon dioxide. With every successful test, the groups bring humanity one step nearer to pushing the boundaries of exploration on this most inhospitable planet.