Despite hell's circumstances, a group of scientists suggest sending a crew to Venus before considering a manned mission to Mars. Why should we focus our efforts on the ancient doppelganger of the Earth? Is that really a good idea?
What once looked like the Earth had turned into a real hell a few billion years ago. The average surface temperature is now about 462 °C under the clouds of sulphuric acid, and atmospheric pressure is 92 times higher than on Earth. However, the planet remains an excellent object of study.
Sure, get there.
Therefore, Venus may not seem the most attractive place for human exploration, but the team led by Dr. Noam Izenberg of the University of Jones-Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory is in favour of making this hell planet, not Mars, the original purpose of a manned mission to another planet, and the researchers presented their idea at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris last week.
Naturally, the idea is not to land on the surface, but to remain in orbit under the reliable protection of the spacecraft during the flight.
Is that really a good idea?
Venus is much closer, making it possible to fly back and forth in just over a year, compared to a potentially three-year trip to Mars. The flight will also be scientifically valuable and can provide space agencies with valuable experience in long-range space in preparation for a possible mission to Mars.
Two years ago, the same team was already in favour of first visiting Venus before reaching out to the Red Planet, and their idea was to use the planet's gravitational gravity to pick up speed. Such assistance would inevitably increase travel time, but would significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to travel. In a manned mission, this option could save space to transport more payloads or astronauts.
However, not everyone was convinced of this concept. ', said Professor Andrew Coates of the University of California Department of Space Physics. '
We know that NASA, ESA and China are planning to visit Venus to study its atmosphere, and Rocket Lab, New Zealand, has also confirmed its own intention to fund the development and launch of a small probe in 2023.