Four Astronomical Missions That Might Launch Soon

By , in News Sci/Tech on . Tagged width: , ,

NASA has invited scientists to come up with proposals for exploratory space missions. In the Discovery Program, four of the proposals have become eligible for financial funding. But only two will be chosen to go further. In nine months and with the help of 3 million dollars each, TRIDENT, VERITAS, DAVINCI+, and Io Volcano Observer must convince NASA to go further with just two of them.


Louise Prockter of the Lunar and Planetary Institute/Universities Space Research Association in Houston wants to investigate Triton. Triton is Neptune’s icy moon that presumably hides an ocean under the surface. Triton might also have an atmosphere, and with the ionosphere, it can snow up there. So, that could become an enchanting mission.

VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)

Suzanne Smrekar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, wants to investigate Venus and create three-dimensional reconstructions of the topography. The possibility of active volcanism and unknown geology of the planet are also subject to scientific appeal.

DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus)

James Garvin from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, in Maryland, in the US, would also like to explore Venus. The planet, known in mythology as the goddess of beauty and love, is expected to be such a seductive planet. Garvin’s interest is pointed towards Venus’s atmosphere, which seems to be very interesting for astronomers. Anything that goes there needs special protection.

Io Volcano Observer (IVO)

Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona in Tucson is reaching Jupiter’s moon, Io. Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system, so it’s expected to have a cast over the fiery mind of a scientist. Maybe Io hides a magma ocean underneath the surface. That would be way cooler, Triton – or hotter.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.