NASA has had the luxury of planning out different missions across the solar system to four planets because of how their external partners like SpaceX, Boeing are shortening the timeline of manufacturing space crafts to make these expeditions possible. The four planets include Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, and our beloved neighbor, Mars!
There is a whole lot of territory to cover in space, and NASA is preparing for multiple voyages with their space crafts reaching different parts of the Solar System. There are two missions that are being prepared for Venus, while the next one would be to Jupiter’s moon and the last being to Triton, which is a moon of Neptune. So far, NASA has already been public with their plans to go to Mars by starting on the moon to build experience for their astronauts.
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From these missions, NASA will select two to launch as the scientists will be given $3 million dollars to refine their research and projects better to come up with a Concept Study Report that would best suit everyone. NASA will then select a winner next year from all the Concept Study Reports gathered to see which the best course of action to take is.
Noble Gases is a curious fascination when it comes to Venus, as although the environment may be harsh, a lot of data could be gathered for us to understand the solar system better. The Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation is leading this chemistry-bound research, and Image Plus (DAVINCI+) is eager to start learning about this planet.
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Radio science is also an interest as the Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSTAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy or better known as the VERITAS mission, could study more on the geological history and direction of this planet.
The moons of Jupiter are popular for being the most volcanically active territories around the solar system, which makes it an interesting study as well because of the geological plumbing that creates these features. The Io Volcano Observatory or IVO is responsible for this study.
A strong case for Triton, the TRIDENT mission is aiming to understand the geyser-like-plumes in hopes of better understanding those found on earth. Triton is also believed to be the second youngest surface in the solar system, which makes this study very appealing as we could get ahead on understanding how younger bodies evolve. Voyager 2 was able to get to Triton, but it took 12 years, so the data should be expected after a long time in the future.
NASA is willing to allocate its resources wherever it is most beneficial for humanity, which is why this competition amongst scientists means a lot. The space crafts will be designed according to NASA’s choice of which planet we should see first.