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Russia and United States agree on mission to Venus

Christian Fernsby |
Russia and the U.S. have agreed on a joint Venus exploration mission, Roscosmos space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said.

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“We agreed with the Americans on a joint mission to Venus,” Rogozin said on the Soloviev Live YouTube show on Saturday.

Russia plans to send the Venera D probe to Venus in November 2029. The mission was initially planned as a Russia U.S. venture. Last year, however, Roscosmos said that the Venera D mission was going to be an independent national project and was not expected to attract significant international cooperation.

Russia is also aiming to send a Venus exploration mission in June, 2031, and another one in June, 2034, in order to study the planet’s atmosphere and, possibly, collect some soil samples.

According to NASA, the U.S. is planning two missions to Venus with launches expected in the 2028 2030 timeframe. Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging (DAVINCI+) consists of a probe that will descend into the Venus’ shrouded atmosphere. A second mission dubbed Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy (VERITAS) will orbit the planet with a synthetic aperture radar able to penetrate clouds that hide the planet’s surface from astronomers on Earth.

Venera D will be the first Venus probe launched by Russia. The contract between Roscosmos and the state owned Lavochkin Research and Production Association envisages spending of 318.2 million rubles until March 2023.

According to the public procurement website, the company will have to “substantiate the feasibility of the mission and possible design solutions that ensure the study of the atmosphere, surface, internal structure and surrounding plasma of Venus at a modern scientific and technical level,” as well as “explore the possibility of returning Venus soil, atmosphere and aerosols samples to Earth.”

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