A world of vitriol

Venus, that beloved little acid ball of mine, may well get a return visit in the near future, courtesy of Russian space research institute, IKI. This makes me very happy!

Funnily enough, more man made craft have visited Venus than any other planet, with probes being launched in every single launch window between 1962 and 1985! By far the most industrious exploration of Venus in the early days was by the Soviet Union. The original Venera probes are, to date, the only vehicles to have landed on Venus and sent back data of any kind (including a handful of tantalising images!). Most recently it seems, a collaboration between Russian and European scientists is set to follow in those early footsteps.

Venera-D (Венера-Д) is the latest proposed mission to Venus, and if everything goes according to plan, it should launch sometime in 2016. Based on the same designs the Soviet Union used, but with newly developed and updated technology, the first probe is set to survey Venus and seek out appropriate landing sites. The ultimate goal is to land another probe on the surface of Earth’s evil twin and beat the previous survival record of roughly 110 minutes in the planet’s hostile environment.

Maybe we will tame our nearest neighbour someday, after all…

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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5 Responses to A world of vitriol

  1. 6_bleen_7 says:

    Crazy! Then Larry Niven was wrong in his early short story about a space mission to Venus. He described the atmosphere at the surface as a “searing black calm.” (Though he could have had his hero land at night.)

  2. invaderxan says:

    Every day is one long cloudy day on Venus. As I recall the visible light at the surface is comparable with a heavily overcast day on Earth (more sunlight at the top of the clouds, but more clouds to get through). In infrared though, I’d imagine it would be very very bright indeed down there!

  3. invaderxan says:

    Ack! What a silly mistake for me to make. Of course the agency is Roscosmos — I always thought it was a cool name.
    Thanks for picking up on that for me! :)

  4. 6_bleen_7 says:

    Cool!
    The images I’ve seen of Venus’s surface have lighting suggesting a cloudy day. Does a significant amount of sunlight actually reach the surface, or are those pictures taken in infrared?

  5. Anonymous says:

    hi,
    congratulations on your blog – I’ve been reading it for about one year now. I’ve a quick correction: IKI is the Russian space research institute. Their space agency is Roscosmos
    sorry for posting anonymous – I don’t have a livejournal account.

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