What will it take to go to Venus? | Science News

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What will it take to go to Venus?

Despite no go-ahead for missions, scientists are still trying to get to Earth’s evil twin

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7:00am, February 13, 2018
Venus

BLUE MARBLE  From the outside, you would never know how hostile Venus’ surface is. This false-color image of Venus from the Akatsuki spacecraft shows a cloud-covered atmosphere as complex and dynamic as Earth’s.

There’s a planet just next door that could explain the origins of life in the universe. It was probably once covered in oceans (SN Online: 8/1/17). It may have been habitable for billions of years (SN Online: 8/26/16). Astronomers are desperate to land spacecraft there.

No, not Mars. That tantalizing planet is Venus. But despite all its appeal, Venus is one of the hardest places in the solar system to get to know. That’s partly because modern Venus is famously hellish, with temperatures hot enough to melt lead and choking clouds of sulfuric acid.

“If you wanted sinners to fry in their own juice, Venus would be the place to send them,” V. S. Avduevsky, deputy director of the Soviet Union’s spaceflight control center, said in 1976 after his country

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