The first probe that voyaged and arrived at Venus with success away from the Soviet and American spatial programs was the Venus Express, a probe created by NASA. This probe accomplished to do many scientific investigations about Venus during its long lifetime.
The Venus Express was launched from the Baikonur, onboard a launch vehicle Soyuz-FG-Fregat (a new adaptation from the R-7 rocket), on November 9th of 2005. The probe arrived at Venus in April 2006, after approximately 6 months of navigation through space. When the probe arrived at its destination, she penetrated into a polar orbit.
Discoveries of the Venus Express
The probe realized some long-term observations of the clouds and the atmospheric dynamics of the planet. The scientists that analysed the datum saw that the observations of the Venus Express showed that Venus’ atmosphere was even more complex than we imagined before. The Italian scientist Giuseppe Piccioni explained that the data that were presented by the probe displayed “repetitive and recurrent characteristic patrons, but its disposition is very changeable, even at short or at long term. The variate mainly in their density and speed”.
The Venus Express realized some important discoveries during its operative period, of nearly a decade. It realized the first infrared map of the planet’s superficial temperature of the southern hemisphere of Venus, which confirmed that, in the past, the planet owned a tectonic plaque system and a water ocean. The probe also proportioned to us datum that indicated that the superior atmosphere is nowadays continuing to lose water, thing which makes us think that Venus had more water in the first period of his history.
Life expectations in Venus
Even if the data from the Venus Express has finished with great measure with the theory that the planet is a place from which life can develop, they have not made lose the hope that life could exist. Furthermore, recent discoveries indicate that the presence of a gas named phosphine that is normally associated with life. This gas is situated at about 50 km from the surface, and it makes us think that it is possible that microbian life is floating through its atmosphere, where the temperatures are more similar to the Earth’s.
However, having uniform temperatures in its surface of an average of 422 Cº, and enormous atmospheric pressure, it is not very likely that similar life as the Earth’s appeared there. Nevertheless, the evidence that in other times there was more water in Venus, make us think that there have maybe been resistant micro-organisms, that were tolerant the extreme Venusian conditions, that would have developed and that are nowadays still present.