Nasa announces two new missions to Venus

Nasa has announced that it is sending two new missions to Venus in order to examine the planet’s atmosphere and geological features, the BBC reports.

The missions, which have each been awarded $500m in funding, are due to launch between 2028 and 2030.

Nasa administrator Bill Nelson said the missions would offer the “chance to investigate a planet we haven’t been to in more than 30 years”.

The last probe to visit the planet was the Magellan orbiter in 1990. However other vessels have made fly-bys since then.

Nasa chief Bill Nelson announced the missions on Wednesday/Reuters

The missions were picked following a peer-review process and were chosen based on their potential scientific value and the feasibility of their development plans.

“These two sister missions both aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world, capable of melting lead at the surface,” Mr Nelson said.

Venus is the second planet from the sun and the hottest planet in the solar system with a surface temperature of 500C – hot enough to melt lead.

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