NASA mulls Venus mission after recent discoveries

After the recent discovery of possible life on the planet, NASA is mulling a mission to Venus.

NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review.

A mission to Venus could help scientists determine whether or not the planet harbors life.

Just this week, an international research team described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds - providing strong evidence of life beyond Earth.

The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has not – up to this point - focused on Venus.

In fact, NASA in July launched a next-generation rover to look for traces of potential past life on Mars.

But in light of Monday's findings, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that it is quote "time to prioritize Venus."

David Grinspoon, an astrobiologist working on one of the proposals, told Reuters that the selection process should be responsive to recent scientific discoveries, saying:

"If there was a mission to Triton as a finalist, and then somebody with a telescope observed, you know, a soccer stadium on Triton, then arguably yeah, we should send a mission there."

Video Transcript

- After the recent discovery of possible life on the planet, NASA is mulling a mission to Venus. NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science emissions from four proposals under review. A mission to Venus could help scientists determine whether or not the planet harbors life. Just this week, an international research team described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds, providing strong evidence of life beyond Earth.

The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has not, up to this point, focused on Venus. In fact, NASA in July launched a next-generation rover to look for traces of potential life on Mars. But in light of Monday's findings, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that it is, quote, "time to prioritize Venus."

David Grinspoon, an astrobiologist working on one of the proposals, told Reuters that the selection process should be responsive to recent scientific discoveries, saying, quote, "If there was a mission to Triton as a finalist and then somebody with the telescope observed, you know, a soccer stadium on Triton, then arguably yeah, we should send a mission there."