China Venus mission: What it wants to do | EXPLAINED
China has recently shared information on its Venus Mission.
After successfully roving on Mars, exploring the Moon and constructing a Space Station, China has its eyes set on the Planet Venus. According to information shared during July 9 conference, while discussing the mission named Venus Volcano Imaging and Climate Explorer (VOICE), China said it will launch the spacecraft in 2026 and it would reach in orbit around the solar system's hottest and brightest planet in 2027.
The mission is targeted to study the geological evolution of Venus, the thermal and chemical processes that occur in the planet's atmosphere, and the interactions between the surface and the atmosphere. Additionally, it would also read the possibility of a habitable environment and life on Venus' surface by using a circular polar orbit at an altitude of 220 miles (350 kilometers).
The instruments sent by China would include an S-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar that could observe the Venusian clouds and map its surface. Further, there would also be a multispectral imager that could observe Venus in the ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared wavelengths.
China's VOICE mission is one of 13 candidate missions under the third Strategic Priority Program (SPP) on Space Science led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It would be competing with the E-type Asteroid Sample Return mission, the low Earth orbit Climate and Atmospheric Components Exploring Satellites mission, and the Ocean Surface Current multiscale Observation Mission.
VOICE would also include the ongoing Tianwen 1 Mars mission and the planned Tianwen 2 near-Earth asteroid and Mars sample-return missions. If selected, VOICE would join NASA's missions to Venus i.e, VERITAS and DAVINCI+, and ESA's EnVision spacecraft.
Meanwhile, California-based Rocket Lab is also aiming to launch a private Venus mission in 2023, while India too is preparing to join the league by sending the Shukrayaan orbiter to space a year later. Russia too has announced plans for a mission named Venera-D, scheduled to launch in 2029.