News | International
27 Sep 2020 23:52
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
  • Crime.co.nz
  • 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.

    Reuters

    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other International News
     27 Sep: Donald Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for US Supreme Court seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
     27 Sep: Supreme Court announcement updates: Donald Trump names Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg
     27 Sep: Kathrin has been 'brainwashed' by a nation before — now she's worried her friends are becoming 'converts'
     27 Sep: Mass testing is the UK's pathway out of coronavirus, according to Boris Johnson. Experts aren't so sure
     27 Sep: French Open tennis is going ahead with crowds despite France's coronavirus crisis. Here's why
     26 Sep: When looking at impact of coronavirus, we can't forget the long-term health effects
     26 Sep: How the Beirut blast plunged Lebanon into a crisis 'worse than war'
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Taranaki will stick to a winning formula in today's Ranfurly Shield defence against Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    How the Beirut blast plunged Lebanon into a crisis 'worse than war' More...



     Today's News

    Cricket:
    The White Ferns horror-run against Australia continues 21:57

    Accident and Emergency:
    The road is now open again after a fatal crash near Nelson 21:47

    Rugby League:
    The Warriors have left it all out on the field 21:17

    Motorsports:
    A second-place race three finish at The Bend has secured Kiwi driver Scott McLaughlin his third consecutive Supercars title, with a round to spare 19:37

    Basketball:
    The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade 18:07

    Environment:
    The Central North Island has been shaken by a moderate earthquake 17:37

    Living & Travel:
    The SPCA is looking for kitten loving New Zealanders to help them tackle this years Kitten Season 16:57

    Law and Order:
    Police are seeking witnesses to an aggravated robbery at the Pomona Street Discount Dairy in Invercargill yesterday afternoon 16:17

    Rugby League:
    Jazz Tevaga has full faith in teammate Peta Hiku's ability to cover fullback, in place of their talisman 15:47

    Living & Travel:
    Donald Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for US Supreme Court seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg 15:37


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2020 New Zealand City Ltd