First plane to fly through Venus in the offing

First plane to fly through Venus in the offing
Highlights

A Virginia-based global aerospace company is planning to build a plane that will fly through Venus\'s atmosphere in 2021. Gearing up to enter NASA\'s New Frontiers planetary science competition, Northrop Grumman Corporation is developing the inflatable, propeller-powered aircraft for a years-long cruise in the skies of Venus.

Washington: A Virginia-based global aerospace company is planning to build a plane that will fly through Venus's atmosphere in 2021. Gearing up to enter NASA's New Frontiers planetary science competition, Northrop Grumman Corporation is developing the inflatable, propeller-powered aircraft for a years-long cruise in the skies of Venus.


The plane, that will have almost twice the wingspan of a Boeing 737, is part of the Venus mission concept called Venus Atmospheric Manoeuvrable Platform (VAMP). It will sample the acidic alien atmosphere on Venus. The firm aims for $1 billion of NASA funding to get its inflatable propeller aircraft off the ground.


It would be flown 50-70 km above the surface of Venus, in a region of the atmosphere where the pressure is roughly equal to that on the Earth. The plane would be carried to Venus by a spacecraft. The ground temperature on Venus, Earth's superheated sister planet hovers around 460 degrees Celsius.

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