Exploring Space Lectures

Venus Rediscovered: An Astrobiological or Astrophysical Frontier?

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Discover what we know — and don’t know — about Earth’s enigmatic “sister,” Venus

Venus remains Earth’s enigmatic “sister,” potentially hiding secrets about the limits of habitability, loss of oceans, and extreme climate change. It has been decades since humanity last visited Venus’s massive atmosphere and reached its inhospitable surface and NASA recently selected two new missions to explore our planetary neighbor.

James B. Garvin, chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Principal Investigator of the upcoming DAVINCI mission (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) to Venus, shares how the foreboding Venus of today is poised to share its secrets in the upcoming decades as a new window on our solar system and beyond.

The new DAVINCI mission will transform our understanding of Venus via first-of-its-kind measurements throughout the atmosphere that will connect mapping of Venus by NASA’s other newly-selected mission (VERITAS) to the composition, stratification, and dynamics of the planet’s massive atmosphere and local surface in new ways by means of a twenty-first century probe from the cloud deck to the rugged surface.

Ultimately, how Venus’s evolution diverged from that of Earth will be investigated, with connection to exoplanetary Venus analogues and their states of habitability. From these upcoming missions and others, exciting new possibilities about Venus as an astrobiological frontier will emerge, finally bringing Venus into scientific focus.

This program will be presented with live closed captioning.

About the Exploring Space Lecture Series

The Worlds We’ve Touched: Robotic Missions to Other Worlds 
Missions that visit and sample other worlds give us a different perspective and expand our understanding in new ways. Mars, Venus, Titan, Bennu: Our understanding of these distant worlds are enhanced by incredible robotic missions that reached out and touched them. Discover more programs in the series.

The Exploring Space Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of Aerojet Rocketdyne and United Launch Alliance.