Russian researchers engineer robot to explore Venus’ harsh conditions

The new robot will not only be able to survive on Venus, it will also be able to travel on the planet by jumping around.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Illustration of Venus.jpg
Illustration of Venus.

buradaki/iStock 

Researchers at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University have engineered a robot fit to explore Venus’ harsh conditions

Georgy Shcheglov, deputy director of the Aerospace Systems Department at the higher education center, told TVBRICS on Friday that the new machine will be able to tackle the planet’s challenging climatic conditions, high temperatures and pressure, and its acidic atmosphere.

In the past, these conditions have negatively affected any robots that landed on the celestial object resulting in their almost immediate destruction.

The new robot will not only be able to survive on Venus, it will also be able to travel on the planet for distances of up to 500 meters by jumping around.

Currently, only one dedicated spacecraft is studying Venus, and NASA's last robotic visitor mission to the planet, called the Magellan mission, ended all the way back in 1994.

However, recently both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced in June of 2021 new missions to study the planet.

There is no word yet on whether the Russian robot will be part of these missions. The most complicated part of including the robot would likely be how to get it to reach the surface.

The NASA missions will be called VERITAS and DAVINCI, while ESA's will be called EnVision. VERITAS will hopefully launch in 2027 and will aim to give researchers the first glimpse of Venus' surface since the end of the Magellan mission.

The mission will also seek to collect data about rock composition, geologic activity, and the planet's core.

VERITAS will also host the Venus Emissivity Mapper, which will be complemented by a near-twin fly on EnVision. This mission is targeting launch in the early 2030s.

Meanwhile, DAVINCI, which is targeting launch in 2030, will focus on Venus' atmosphere and is composed of a main spacecraft and an atmospheric probe.

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