09 November 2005

Venus probe launched successfully

Russia has successfully launched the first European probe to Venus. It will get there in about five months and start observations in early June. It's not a lander, but will take pictures from orbit to learn more about the atmosphere, including why it's so dense, windy, and has such a runaway greenhouse effect. A lander wouldn't survive long in temperatures of 700K, hot enough to melt lead, so and orbitter is more cost-effective. I'm hoping it will shed some light upon Earth's global warming. Interestingly, many of the instruments the Venus Express carries are of identical design to successful instruments from previous missions (Mars Express and Rosetta), saving the European Space Agency (ESA) lots of time and money, and hopefully lots of pain as well.

Cheers!

1 comment:

Mike Cherim said...

Let's hope it isn't discovered that Venus is humanity's first home, before us/we/they/the inhabitants misused the available resources to the point that it became a hot and inhospitable place. Yikes. Well, history does repeat itself.