NASA has already provided humanity tremendous help in understanding how the Universe works. Just bear in mind that a century ago, we didn’t know about the existence of other galaxies nor other planets beyond our own solar system (aka exoplanets). We didn’t even know that the Universe had a beginning.
But until exploring truly exoplanets and other galaxies, we should make sure that we unveiled all the wonders from our own backyard – the solar system. Therefore, NASA’s next missions will try to uncover some more mysteries about several nearby cosmic objects.
Venus, Jupiter, and two moons are targetted
There are four cosmic objects involved in NASA’s new round of explorations: our neighboring planet Venus, the gas giant Jupiter, Neptune’s moon called Triton, and the supervolcanic moon Io. More precisely, NASA dubbed these future explorations as “Discovery missions”.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, spoke in a statement about the importance of the Discovery missions of NASA:
These selected missions have the potential to transform our understanding of some of the solar system’s most active and complex worlds,
Exploring any one of these celestial bodies will help unlock the secrets of how it, and others like it, came to be in the cosmos,
Surprisingly enough, the costs for these missions will be of low-budget.
Venus may be hot, but not hot enough to stop NASA’s plans
DAVINCI Plus (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging Plus) will send a probe through the Venusian thick air, so that it will be gathering data about our hot neighbor’s atmosphere. The goal is to understand how that atmosphere changed over time.
The VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy) mission will be mapping the surface of Venus from the orbit in order to figure out more about the planet’s geologic history and to conclude if volcanoes and plate tectonics from the planet are active in the present.
Hopefully, the future NASA missions will provide us some irrefutable answers about the solar system.