Mars has been the bell of the planetary ball in the last few decades, but that’s not to say other planets in the solar system, like Venus, haven’t had a fair share of attention over the years.
NASA last sent a spacecraft to orbit Earth’s nearest neighbor in 1990.
Russia, formerly the Soviet Union, sent a whole slew of mostly successful missions to Venus, and Japan has an orbiter there now.
The tricky part is sending a robotic mission to the surface. Most have only survived for a few hours. So why send a robot to a planet that will destroy it?
The short answer: It can likely tell us more about our home planet.
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“Why does it have such a different path than what we took here on Earth?” NASA Discovery Program lead scientist Thomas Wagner said.