The next stop for the scientists, following the exploration of Mars, is undoubtedly the second planet from the sun, earth’s twin; Venus. There have been challenges associated with the Venus upper atmosphere for a quite a while now. Engineers have finally developed a “long-lived, maneuverable, semi-buoyant aircraft” to overcome the problems linked with Venus mission.
Engineers at aerospace firms Northrop Grumman and L’Garde have been working for the last year on a robotic airship to explore Venus. The airship, named as VAMP (Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform), is combination of diverse capabilities. These include large structure for external atmospheric deployment, environmentally capable materials, and reduced aerodynamic requirements and automated science observation.
VAMP would ride to Venus orbit aboard a spacecraft, deployed and pumped up like a balloon while still connected to the spacecraft. It would then be separated and moved slowly through the atmosphere and finally reaching Venus. It is expected to be less dramatic then the last year’s “7 minute of Terror” for the Mars landing of Curiosity Rover. It would cruise Venus’ skies at high altitudes during day and at lower altitudes after sunset and study its atmosphere for a year. VAMP would carry a payload (scientific gears) of 200 Kg for collecting data and relay it back through the spacecraft in the orbit.
Scientists believe to uncover the planet’s puzzling mysteries through this mission. It would be insightful information about the planet’s atmosphere for finding existence of life on other planets.