After NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) is also targeting Venus with a new mission called EnVision: it will be launched after 2031 and will feature a probe that will orbit the Earth's 'twin' planet to study its atmosphere. the surface and internal structure.
The exploration of the subsoil will be entrusted to an Italian instrument, a radar sounder that will be built with the involvement of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and which will have as scientific director Lorenzo Bruzzone, head of the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the University of Trento.
“It will be the first time ever that a radar sounder will operate on our sister planet,” explains Bruzzone.
"Its sub-surface measurements will be fundamental for the reconstruction of the geological history of Venus and will contribute to the understanding of the interaction between surface, sub-surface and the Venusian atmosphere."
"Participation in ESA's EnVision mission, together with that envisaged in NASA's Veritas mission, will allow Italy to hold a position of leader for the exploration program of the planet Venus, in the same way as was done for Mars", he underlines Barbara Negri, head of the Human Flight and Scientific Experimentation Unit of ASI.
The EnVision mission, carried out in collaboration with NASA, will offer an unprecedented view of the planet most similar to Earth in terms of mass, size and orbital radius.
The use of radar technology, together with high-resolution spectroscopy and radio science, will allow the study of the planet on a large spatial scale, from the upper atmosphere to the interior.
Through its global approach, EnVision will address fundamental questions about Venus' atmosphere, climate, past and present geology and their potential interaction. This will provide valuable insights into the planet's current evolution and activity, giving important clues as to why Venus evolved so differently from Earth. The expected results from this mission will also be relevant for understanding the habitability and evolution of terrestrial planets in the Solar System and beyond.