In order to learn more about how terrestrial planets evolve over time, NASA selected the VERITAS and DAVINCI+ missions for its Discovery Program. These both revolve aims around the planet, Venus.
Defense aviation King will design, build and operate both spacecraft. The missions will launch in the 2028-2030 timeframe.
- These both will combine to study Venus’ dense atmosphere, topography, and geologic processes in great depth.
Huge Missions- Better to come
Both missions will aim to discover how Venus – which may have been the first potentially habitable planet in our solar system – became inhospitable to life.
They both represent NASA’s return to Earth’s sister planet- Venus, after more than thirty years.
“Our team who designed these two spacecraft to study Venus in unprecedented detail – and yield answers to its greatest mysteries – is beyond excited!”
She further added.
The operations and science for DAVINCI+ stand for Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging.
And, it will be managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
VERITAS stands for Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography & Spectroscopy. It will constitute its science and operations.
And, will be taken care of and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
Why Does Venus Matter?
Scientists are convinced over a belief that it was once similar to our home planet, Venus evolved to be much different. And, it was far less habitable – than Earth.
As our own planet’s climate and geology evolve, interest in returning to Venus has surged. It is because the planet currently suffers from a runaway greenhouse gas effect.
Over millennia, water that may have once existed on Venus’ surface evaporated and carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere – leading to a present-day surface temperature that’s hot enough to melt lead.
Previous missions and upcoming strategies
Previous missions to Venus have even got hands with some tantalizing clues that the planet may have once harbored a liquid ocean.
DAVINCI+ and VERITAS will build on those findings.
- So, these will help scientists better understand the existence of past life on Venus.
- Not only this but also, how its atmosphere and geology may have influenced its current sustainance like it does.
Science from these missions can bestow and provide us with clues about Earth’s own future. It will also help inform future missions to the planet.
Studying Venus’ Geology with the help of VERITAS
As an orbiter that draws on heritage from the Lockheed Martin-built MAVEN spacecraft at Mars. VERITAS will give scientists the most detailed maps ever produced of Venus’ obscured landscape.
When VERITAS arrives at Venus, the orbiter will use a special technique called Aerobraking. Aerobraking will be used in order to carefully insert itself into an optimal science position in the planet’s orbit.
As the spacecraft begins to circle the Venus planet in four cycles near the planet’s poles. Two very extremely sensitive imagers will capture things like volcanic activity, tectonics and outgassing of any life-related compounds like water or carbon.
Measuring Venus’ Atmosphere with DAVINCI+
The part orbiter and part probe, the DAVINCI+ spacecraft will provide a look into Venus’ atmosphere in unprecedented detail.
When it arrives at Venus, the DAVINCI+ spacecraft will jettison a probe to the planet’s surface. As it descends, three instruments will take the first-ever live measurements from inside Venus’s atmosphere – assessing gases, material composition, temperature, and pressure.
A camera onboard will also capture the most detailed images ever taken of Venus’ hidden surface. As, it mostly, is obscured by thick, noxious clouds.
Legacy of Planetary Exploration and NASA
VERITAS and DAVINCI+ are the eighth and ninth NASA Discovery Program missions Lockheed Martin has been part of.
Previously, the company has:
- Developed the Lunar Prospector spacecraft
- Designed and built the aeroshell entry system for Mars Pathfinder
- Built, designed, and operated the spacecraft for the Stardust missions
- Newly Designed, built and operated the Genesis spacecraft
- Refined, designed, built and operated the two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft
- Projected, designed, built, and operated the InSight Mars lander
- Created the design, built and will operate the Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, set to launch in October 2021
NASA’s Discovery Program-class missions are bound at a specific, relatively low cost. They are managed for NASA’s Planetary Science Division by the Planetary Missions Program Office. Located at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The missions are also designed and led by a principal investigator. This investigator assembles a team of scientists and engineers to address key science questions about the solar system.
Over 50 years, Lockheed Martin has helped NASA explore every planet of our solar system, and continues to develop new technologies for future space missions.
- The company also supported NASA on Magellan.
- This agency’s prior mission to Venus 30 years ago.
- Lockheed Martin built that spacecraft, which produced the first-ever maps of Venus’ surface from orbit.
Now, the team builds on that legacy of discovery with DAVINCI+ and VERITAS.
About Lockheed Martin company
The Defense King industries are headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin.
It is a global security and aerospace company that currently employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide.
And, it is also is principally & adequately engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
Lockheed Martin & NASA have previously shaken hands in order to pace their mission to the Moon. It was named Orion. We’ve already mentioned the same in the above context as you’d have read.
Read below to know more about the mission!
Lockheed has won the $4.6 Billion NASA contract for Orion Spacecraft
The Orion spacecraft is designed for NASA’s 2024 return to the Moon. Lockheed Martin will be together in its mission to the Moon.
Lockheed Martin Corp won a $4.6 billion contract to build at least six Orion spacecraft to carry astronauts to the moon.
- The deal covers $2.7 billion for the first three vehicles.
- An additional $1.9 billion for another three in the 2022 fiscal year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration revealed in a statement.
- NASA is also planning to order another six Orion capsules for its Artemis moon missions by Sept. 30,
The first spacecraft from the deal is designed to be ready in 2024.
NASA has targeted the year 2024 for returning astronauts to the moon’s surface.
NASA has tagged Orion and Boeing Co.’s Space Launch System rocket as keystones of its deep-space exploration goals. The agency also plans a Lunar Gateway, a future small spacecraft designed to orbit the moon, as part of its Artemis plans.
Contracts for the good
Lockheed’s NASA contract specified that the Orion program would be managed from the Johnson Space Center near Houston.
Its announcement was made a month later after the agency angered the Texas congressional delegation. He did so, by awarding the Artemis lander program to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
NASA’s news release on the contract quoted both “Texas senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as Representative Brian Babin, a Republican whose district includes the Johnson Space Center.”
All three had asked NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to reconsider the lunar lander decision.
Lockheed has taken the responsibility to assemble the vehicles at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. On the other hand, also maintaining an engineering team in the Denver area.
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