Science Blast! Venus, We’re Coming For You!

New technology means NASA may be heading to Venus! (Obviously, they’ve heard about our anthology and wish to join in the romance!)

NASA Has Developed Electronics to Withstand the Toxic Hellhole That Is Venus

Venus, we’re coming for you.

 PETER DOCKRILL   11 FEB 2017

Given that a return trip to Venus would be about 30 to 50 percent shorter than a round ticket to Mars, you might wonder why so much scientific effort revolves around getting us to the Red Planet, rather than exploring the second planet from the Sun.

Consider this: the longest-lasting probe that made it to the surface of Venus survived for a grand total of 2 hours and 7 minutes before its circuits were fried. Nope, Venus’s scorchingly hot, corrosive, and heavy atmosphere isn’t exactly inviting – but new electronics developed by NASA could give us our best chance yet of studying this toxic hellhole up close.

Engineers at the space agency’s Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland have come up with circuitry capable of lasting 100 times longer than previous Venus mission electronics.

That means we might finally have the technological basics for actually getting some long-lasting science done on the hottest planet in the Solar System, with an average surface temperature of 462° Celsius (863° Fahrenheit).

“If you look at Mars missions, there’ve been rovers on the surface getting all sorts of scientific data,” NASA electronics engineer Philip Neudeck told Ryan F. Mandelbaum at Gizmodo.

“That dataset is totally missing from Venus, and that’s because the electronics don’t function on Venus.”

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