Image taken of the surface of Venus by Venera 13 in 1982. These images depict the distorting effects of the thick Venusian atmosphere. SOURCE: C.M. Pieters, et al., The color of the surface of Venus, Science 234:1379-1383, 1986. 

Image taken of the surface of Venus by Venera 13 in 1982. These images depict the distorting effects of the thick Venusian atmosphere. SOURCE: C.M. Pieters, et al., The color of the surface of Venus, Science 234:1379-1383, 1986. 

Venus, the hottest planet in our Solar System, has been through years of "should we go back?" and "why do we want to go back?" debates...

In recent development, NASA keeps choosing outer Solar System bodies, such as Titan or cometary bodies, for further investigations. Recently, the Venus planetary community strengthens their determination toward a Venus mission. 

Here are some facts to think about:

1- the U.S. has never landed on Venus. The U.S. sent several probes to image the atmosphere and surface via RADAR, but the landers were actually the Soviet Union. 

2-We know very little about the surface of Venus. We know there are a lot of volcanoes (A LOT- more than 400!), but not enough to know how these volcanoes are built or what kind of minerals the surface actually has!

3- Did water exist on Venus? That's a debate currently regarding the shape and locale of some of the major volcanoes and certain lava flows. Hopefully a soil sample could help us with that question!

4- What are storm systems like on Venus? We have detected lightning on Venus, but to what effect, how powerful, or how frequent- we still don't know!

Hopefully the Venus community will gain enough support to allow NASA to approve a mission to Venus!

More about the Venus Community and news: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/vexag/VISE/

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at what are "pyroclastics"?