Venus Ekspres letelica spremna za poletanje

Venus Ekspres letelica spremna za poletanje

  • Pridružio: 10 Feb 2005
  • Poruke: 3549

The European Space Agency is set to launch a spacecraft to Venus. It will be the first mission to the swelteringly hot and corrosive planet in 15 years.

Called Venus Express, it is scheduled to lift off aboard a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 26 October. When it arrives at Venus in April 2006, it will study the planet from a polar orbit stretching from an altitude of 250 to 60,000 kilometres.

Seven instruments will scrutinise the planet at a range of wavelengths. Astronomers hope to understand how a planet that has more in common with Earth than any other in terms of distance from the Sun, size and mass could have evolved into such an inhospitable world.

Temperatures hover at 450°C, while the thick, carbon dioxide atmosphere produces crushing surface pressures 90 times those on Earth and sulphuric acid rains from the sky. "We're still struggling to understand why Venus is so radically different from Earth," says Fred Taylor, an astronomer at the University of Oxford, UK.

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