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Still Waters

Hopes rise of new mission to Venus

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Still Waters

The longstanding idea that Venus is geologically dead is a "myth", scientists say.

The focus on Mars over the last few decades has transformed our view of that planet's geology.

In the meantime, the researchers who study Venus's surface have relied heavily on data from Magellan - a Nasa mission that ended in 1994. A European mission, Venus Express, and a Japanese spacecraft, Akatsuki, have been there since, but both are focused on atmospheric science.

After years of feeling like a new mission would never happen, there is a sense that the tide might finally be turning.

The European Space Agency (Esa) is evaluating a Venus mission, called EnVision, alongside two astronomy proposals - Theseus and Spica. Other concepts are also being proposed to Nasa.


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