The temperature and pressure on Venus are extreme. Do room probes work under such circumstances?
Since the beginning of the space age era, probes have been coming to Venus. It was even the first planet visited by a space probe. Already in 1961 the Russians sent a probe to Venus, but the American Mariner 2 made the first measurements.
But it is not easy to get close to Venus. Because the sunlight there is almost twice as strong as on earth, the equipment must be cooled in a probe, otherwise it would not survive the heat. And with a possible landing on Venus, the problems really start. The dense atmosphere is full of carbon dioxide, creating a greenhouse effect. It can reach 480 ° C. Moreover, the pressure is 90 times as high as on the surface of the earth, and therefore it is already a great achievement to keep a probe that has landed on Venus working for an hour.
But a solution is being worked on. Astronomers are now able to study the surface of Venus without landing on it. A number of reliable maps have already been made with the help of radar, and a probe such as the Venus Express, currently orbiting the planet, can 'see' the surface to a certain extent by observing light of certain wavelengths . Balloons could then be brought into the thick clouds around Venus. This way, researchers can find out if there are micro-organisms in the clouds, where it is not as warm as on the surface.
European probe looks at Venus atmosphere
The Venus Express is currently the only active Venus probe. He mainly studies the dense atmosphere of the planet.
The VeRa radio observatory examines how the atmosphere influences radio signals from the probe to the earth.
The SPICA / SOIR spectrometer searches for traces of water near Venus.
The ASPERA magnetometer examines how the solar wind influences the atmosphere.
The VIRTIS spectrometer looks at various spectra in the atmosphere.