Oxford University scientists have been given the green light for their new mission ‘EnVision’, which plans to study the geology and atmosphere of Venus as well as researching past and present volcanic activity. This will give the team the opportunity to track the volcanic gases that sustain the planets clouds and hostile environment, where temperatures can reach a staggering 450 degrees centigrade.
Both European and American scientists will work with the UK team to compare geologic and atmospheric processes to those on Earth and other planets and aim to discover more about how interactions between its interior, surface and atmosphere have shaped its evolution in terms of it’s climate and habitability.
Dr Colin Wilson, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford’s Department of Physics and a Deputy Lead Scientist of the mission comments: “It is great news that we will be getting back to Venus. The selection of this mission, along with the two Venus missions seelcted by NASA last week, shows the widespread recognition of how important Venus is in understanding how Earthlike planets evolve to be the way they are.”
The EnVision orbiter is expected to launch in 2031-2032. It will take 15 months to reach Venus, where it will take a further 16 months of aerobraking to get into its low circular orbit and begin its 4-year scientific study.