After the success of the Venus Express probe (2005-2014), Europe again wishes to explore the planet with EnVision, announced the European Space Agency. Belgium is again explicitly involved.
Venus holds another set of secrets, the most important of which is why our closest, and resembling us in size and makeup, has undergone such drastic climate change. Answering the question can also learn more about the impact of global warming on Earth. Other questions are whether there is still geological activity, whether there has ever been an ocean and even life.
Together with two NASA probes, Envision, which will be launched by the future Ariane-6 no earlier than 2031, should attempt to answer these questions.
ESA boasts that the new explorer Venus will carry an “innovative set of instruments”. One of them is the Belgian VenSpec-H, an instrument that relies on the NOMAD of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) on the European-Russian success ExoMars in orbit around the planet Riode .
Ann-Carine Vandaele, Séverine Robert and Eddy Neefs from BIRA-IASB in Uccle are part of the System Engineering Working Group. Vandaele also runs VenSpec-H.
ESA has not yet appointed an industrial contractor.
NASA and Russia return to Venus: why and what drives the space race? (+)
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