News | International
21 Sep 2020 5:33
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    NASA considers Venus mission after discovery of potential evidence of life beyond Earth

    NASA is mulling four proposals for planetary space missions and an astrobiologist says the "logical choice" would be to send a probe to Venus after the discovery of a gas in the harshly acidic clouds in planet's atmosphere.

    A robotic probe could be sent to Venus to determine whether it harbours life if the proposed science mission wins over a NASA panel currently reviewing four planetary pursuits.

    An international research team this week described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds: traces of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is produced by bacteria inhabiting oxygen-free environments.

    It provided strong potential evidence of life beyond Earth.

    The US space agency in February shortlisted four proposed missions that are now being reviewed by a NASA panel, two of which would involve robotic probes to Venus.

    NASA is expected to approve up to two of the missions by next April.

    One of those, called DAVINCI+, would send a probe into the Venusian atmosphere.

    "Davinci is the logical one to choose if you're motivated in part by wanting to follow this up — because the way to follow this up is to actually go there and see what's going on in the atmosphere," David Grinspoon, an astrobiologist working on the DAVINCI+ proposal, told Reuters.

    The three other proposals include: IVO, a mission to Jupiter's volcanically active moon Io; Trident, a fly-by trek to map Neptune's icy moon Triton; and VERITAS, the second of the proposed Venus missions that instead would focus on understanding the planet's geological history.

    The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has until now not focused on Venus.

    In fact, NASA in July launched a next-generation rover to look for traces of potential past life on Mars.

    In light of Monday's findings, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that was "time to prioritise Venus".

    In a statement, Mr Bridenstine said the selection process for the new potential missions will be tough "but I know the process will be fair and unbiased".

    Dr Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, said the selection process should be responsive to recent scientific discoveries.

    "If there was a mission to Triton as a finalist, and then somebody with a telescope observed, you know, a soccer stadium on Triton, then arguably yeah, we should send a mission there," Dr Grinspoon said.


    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

     Other International News
     20 Sep: What should I say to someone who is hesitant about the potential COVID-19 vaccine?
     20 Sep: Inside the Save The Children conspiracy theory that's targeting suburban mums in the US
     20 Sep: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead. It's now up to Donald Trump to pick the justice to replace her
     20 Sep: In COVID-free Vanuatu, this marathon cultural festival has brought thousands of people together
     20 Sep: Meet Jawsh 685, the New Zealand teen behind Jason Derulo's hit song 'Savage Love'
     19 Sep: Indonesia's coronavirus rule breakers forced to dig graves and pray at cemeteries for COVID-19 victims
     19 Sep: Richie Porte could time trial himself onto the Tour de France podium
     Top Stories

    Auckland's keeping a clear mind despite the impending departure of key All Blacks from their squad More...

    Hopes Aucklanders affected by changes to public transport services adapt and find alternative routes More...

     Today's News

    New pre-election promises were absent from National's virtual campaign launch 4:36

    Health & Safety:
    New Zealand's Covid-19 case numbers are tracking in the right direction 4:36

    Fire crews alongside two trucks are battling to put out a house fire in Auckland's Royal Oak 21:17

    Rugby League:
    The Warriors have let slip a comfortable early lead to lose their penultimate game of the NRL season 18:57

    Scott McLaughlin has led home a one-two finish for DJR Team Penske, in the final Supercars race of the weekend at The Bend 18:37

    Rugby League:
    The Warriors have fallen behind in their NRL match with the Raiders in Canberra 18:07

    Auckland's keeping a clear mind despite the impending departure of key All Blacks from their squad 17:27

    Rugby League:
    Meanwhile it was news that was feared, and now confirmed 16:57

    Matthew Wolff is hoping to continue his momentum into the final round of the US golf Open in New York 16:27

    Rugby League:
    The Tampa Bay Lightning have drawn first blood in the Stanley Cup finals, defeating the Dallas Stars 4-1 in Edmonton 15:47

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2020 New Zealand City Ltd