Visitors to Venus
Venus Express promises to revolutionize scientists' understanding of our planetary neighbor, but it won't be alone.
December 21, 2005
|The European Space Agency's (ESA) Venus Express spacecraft reaches its destination in April. The probe will study how Venus' atmosphere circulates, measure the physics and chemistry of its cloud layer, determine what the lower atmosphere is made of, and map the planet's surface in the infrared. According to Thomas Thompson, a science manager for U.S. participation in ESA's Mars Express mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Venus Express is an important "pathfinder" for an eventual sample-return mission. |
About 6 months after Venus Express has settled into studies of the cloud-shrouded world, it will be joined briefly by another spacecraft.
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