NASA has unveiled four new research missions that could set flight under the Discovery Program – if their feasibility can be confirmed. They highlight three locations that you will already know from my books: Venus (two proposals), Io, and Triton. However, a maximum of two of the four proposals will be developed.
Here are the details:
DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus)
DAVINCI+ will analyze Venus’s atmosphere in order to understand how it formed and developed and whether Venus ever had an ocean. To do this, DAVINCI+ will plunge into Venus’s inhospitable atmosphere and precisely measure its composition down to the surface. Its instruments will be housed in a ball specially constructed to protect the instruments from Venus’s intense conditions during the descent. The “+” in DAVINCI+ refers to the mission’s imaging components, including cameras on the descent ball and an orbiter designed for mapping the types of rocks on the surface. The last NASA mission to Venus took place in 1978.