A private company is the first in history to fly to Venus.  No, it’s not SpaceX

Two years ago, the first-ever private company, SpaceX, sent astronauts aboard International Space Station from the territory of the United States. It was a remarkable event that served as a precursor to the private corporate invasion of space.

Now he has more ambitious plans US missile lab. Peter Beck, president of the company, announced a very exciting project. It will be around an alien planet. Rocket Lab will send a mission to Venus in May 2023. If successful, it will be the first company in history to not only conquer an alien planet, but also send a mission far beyond Earth.

The goal is very commendable. Beck and his team want to get a closer look at our planet’s twin sister, which has a greenhouse effect. It’s no secret that rocket lab SpaceX competitors. Elon Musk He wants to conquer Mars, and Peter Beck is the twin sister of Earth. Interestingly, although Venus is a hot globe, it can be colonized, just like the Red Planet.

Once upon a time, Venus may have looked like Earth. Scientists want to understand how the Great Change happened and to see if similar changes threaten our planet. It’s also no secret that Rocket Lab wants it Look for traces of life there. It may seem strange that the atmosphere of Venus is perfect for simple life forms to thrive. The first orbital station could also be built there.

Rocket Lab wants to use a standard electron for the interplanetary mission. However, it will be equipped with an additional one A unit called a photon In the interplanetary version. It houses a Korean engine, communications and flight control systems. Vehicles or sensors can also be placed there.

To start, Rocket Lab plans to send a small 20-kilogram probe to Venus with a scientific instrument known as Self nucleimeter. During the mission, the laser will be directed at the clouds to create fluorescence from the organic molecules. In this way, the company will look for the building blocks of life. The probe is expected to spend only 5 minutes in the atmosphere of Venus at an altitude of 48-60 kilometers above the surface.

“We’re going to look for organic molecules in cloud droplets,” said Sarah Seeger of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Such a discovery would not be evidence of life. Organic molecules can be created in a way that has nothing to do with biological processes. However, if it were discovered there, “it would be a step toward recognition of Venus as a potential habitat,” Seeger added.

But this is not the end of Beck’s plans. During the following missions into Venus’ atmosphere, larger probes powered by a balloon inspired by the Russian Wega missions of the 1980s will appear. The devices will spend several weeks in the atmosphere. Later it’s time for a little robot exactly He will examine the surface of the planet. This mission will likely be performed jointly with NASA. The agency has been working on a Venus rover for some time.

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