With Veritas, Italy Returns to Venus (Astronomy)

NASA announces the launch of two missions to Venus: Davinci + and Veritas. The Italian Space Agency also participates in the latter, which will have the objective of revealing the internal functioning of the planet, and among the members of the scientific team is Gaetano Di Achille, researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics in Teramo

Italy also flies to Venus. By 2030, NASA’s Veritas (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSar, Topography, and Spectroscopy) mission will set out for Venus to uncover the inner workings of Earth’s mysterious twin planet.

The announcement was released by NASA President Bill Nelson , who also announced the launch of a second mission, called Davinci + , which will start as Veritas with Venus target. Both are part of NASA’s Discovery Program and are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California.

Italy participates in the Veritas mission through a partnership collaboration between the Italian Space Agency and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which has assigned to our country the responsibility for the development and construction of three on-board instruments: the Idst transponder  (Integrated Deep Space Transponder) , necessary to ensure communications and to perform radio science experiments useful for understanding the gravity of the planet, the radiofrequency part of the Visar  (Venus Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar), useful for studying the morphology of the planet and the phenomena of volcanism, and ‘ antenna Hga (High-Gain Antenna).

“Since Veritas”, says Barbara Negri , head of the Italian Space Agency of the Human Flight and Scientific Experimentation Unit, “will investigate the geological history of the planet closest to Earth, mapping its surface to study processes such as tectonics o volcanism, and given the Italian contribution described above, we can say with certainty that Italy will contribute in a determined way to the main scientific themes of the mission, without neglecting the technological contribution of the parts of our responsibility that have been identified thanks to the experience gained on other collaborations with Jpl such as Cassini and Juno ».

“This will be a unique opportunity to study the geological activity of the planet and verify if Venus is currently active”, comments Gaetano Di Achille , researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics in Teramo, co-investigator of the mission and expert in planetary geology. . “The instrumentation on board will allow us to have an unprecedented vision of the planet and its variations that have occurred since the visit of the latest missions, Magellan of NASA and Venus Express of ESA”.

The mission could also provide new data on the evolution of our planet, helping us better understand the rocky planets orbiting other stars.

Featured image: Artist’s impression of active volcanoes on Venus, depicting a subduction zone in which the crust in the foreground plunges into the interior of the planet. Credits: Nasa / Jpl-Caltech / Peter Rubin

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