Researchers are now working to land on different spaces in the solar system. While Mars and Moon have gotten a lot of attention from spacecrafts all over the world, few have given attention to earth’s nearest neighbor planet, Venus or to the icy moon of Jupiter, Europa. Europa is considered one of the best places in the solar system.
Planetary scientists and engineers have been discussing new ideas to land on Venus and Europa. They are discussing the designs of the future spacecrafts that will enable this mission. The missions are still not part of any schedule of NASA but scientists want to be well prepared. They have proposed plans at their meetings.
Scientists want to embark on their journey to ridged, folded mountainous terrain of Venus called tessera soon. Their science objective is to safely land on the tessera terrain according to planetary scientist Joshua Knicely of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and in their meeting the scientist said “We have to do it.”
The scientists are looking at another mission too called the Europa Clipper. The mission is already underway and is scheduled to take higher-resolution images when the Jovian moon will be visited by the orbiter later in this decade. These images will help clarify all the issues with the mission.
Till the time all of this is made possible the engineers and scientists are excited to run the elaborate dress rehearsals for landing on the Europa. They are simulating ices with different chemical compositions in vacuum chambers and dropping a dummy lander named Olaf from a crane to see what happens and how much can be held up.