Three missions for Venus

A recent article by Nadia Drake in National Geographic gives a nice overview of the state of research into Venus’ climate and history, along with a summary of the three (count ’em) missions to the planet which are going to be launching in the coming years:

Three planetary missions, launching over the next decade, will reveal whether Venus ever had liquid oceans, and if so, how expansive they were and how long they lasted. The robotic trio will precisely map the planet’s surface, look for signs of active volcanism, and peer into the world’s interior. By helping us better understand our sister world, these spacecraft will also help us learn whether the millions of rocky planets in Venus-like orbits around other stars could be habitable.

Hellish Venus poses many mysteries. New spacecraft aim to solve them, National Geographic

Interest in Venus was building even before the announcement last year that there is possibly phosphine in its atmosphere. Whether or not the phosphine is there (and none of these missions will answer that question directly), we have a lot to learn about Venus’ past.

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