WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NASA is considering approving by next April for two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one Venus that says the scientists involved in the project are helping to determine Whether the planet harms life or not.
An international research team on Monday described evidence of possible microbes living in harsh acidic Venusian clouds: traces of phosphine, a gas produced by bacteria in a bacteria-free environment on Earth. It provided strong evidence of life beyond the earth.
In February, the US Space Agency shortlisted four proposed missions, which are now being reviewed by the NASA panel, two of which would include a robot probe for Venus. One of them, called DAVINCI +, will send a probe to the Venusian environment.
“Darwin is logical to choose if you are motivating it in part by motivating it to participate – because the way to follow this is to actually go there and see what’s going on in the environment,” David Grinspoon, an astronomer working on the proposal for DAVINCI +, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Three other proposals include: IVO, a mission to the active moon Io of Jupiter’s volcano; Trident, a fly-by trek to map Triton, the icy moon of Neptune;[VERITASwillfocusattentiononunderstandingthegeologicalhistoryofthesecondstateofIsraelinthesecondoftheproposedeventsThesayingisthathecanchoosearegime[VERITASप्रस्तावितशुक्रमिशनोंमेंसेदूसराजोइसकेबजायग्रहकेभूवैज्ञानिकइतिहासकोसमझनेपरध्यानकेंद्रितकरेगा।नासानेकहाहैकिवहएकयादोमिशनचुनसकताहै।
The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has not yet been focused on Venus. In fact, NASA launched the next generation rover in July to see traces of possible past life on Mars.
In light of Monday’s findings, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstein said that “it is time to prioritize Venus.” In a statement, Bridenstein said the selection process for the new potential missions would be difficult “but I know that the process will be fair and impartial.”
Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Institute of Planetary Sciences, said the selection process should be responsible for recent scientific discoveries.
Greenspoon said, “If there was a mission to Triton as a finalist, and then someone celebrated with a telescope, you know, a football stadium on Triton, then of course, yes, we should send a mission there, “Grinspoon said.
(Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Will Dunham)