Enigmatic Venus holds tight its secrets under thick clouds.
Image credit: NASA

 

Albeit a hell hole of a world, the planet Venus is a tantalizing, cloud-enveloped cool place for scientific scrutiny to ferret out its history, evolution and gauge its present state.

Touted in 2021 as a “triple crown” moment for Venus researchers, a spacecraft trio — VERITAS, DAVINCI, and Europe’s EnVision — would be sent off to divulge the inner, topside, and outer workings of Venus as never before.

Venus Life Finder is a first of its kind private sector investigation.
Image credit: Rocket Lab

 

That was just a few years ago. But sprint forward to today.

Budget wrangling

Today, investigating Venus is akin to a political and financial weather report – cloudy!

Government budget wrangling and researcher handwringing aside, an enterprising entry into the Venus exploration fray is the first private mission to that world.

The project’s calling is indeed alluring: Is Venus cloudy with a scattering of life?

For more details, go to my new Scientific American story – “Can a Private Space Mission Pierce Venus’s Clouds? Amid uncertainty over space agencies’ plans for future Venus exploration, enthusiasm for a private-sector mission grows” – at:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-a-private-space-mission-pierce-venuss-clouds/

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