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Venus aircraft could be in the plans of NASA

NASA has awarded Colorado company Black Swift Technologies a contract to develop a vehicle for the potential use in the heaven of Venus. Credit: Black Swift Technologies

NASA is interested in potentially exploring Venus’ skies.

The space agency has awarded Colorado-based company Black Swift Technologies (BST) a contract for the development of an antenna of the vehicle for atmospheric observations of Venus.

“Black Swift technology is the antenna solutions for wild land fires, volcanic observations, tornadoes, and hurricanes — some of the most extreme phenomena on Earth,” BST CEO Jack Elston said in a statement. “This mission is a natural extension of our focus, only now we focus on the extreme conditions of Venus.”

Dynamic soaring

As a specialized engineering firm, BST offers purpose-built scientific platforms. The company makes a planetary aerial vehicle based on “dynamic soaring,” which makes use of wind shear to generate lift and speed. Here on Earth, small aircraft often make use of dynamic soaring, such as seabirds, long-distance migrations.

“Our solution will be designed not only to survive in the harsh wind environment, but also simultaneously perform targeted sampling of the atmosphere, while a continuous extraction of energy, even on the dark side of the planet,” Elston said.

Despite the fact that the temperature at the surface of Venus is hotter than the other planets in the solar system 873 degrees F (467 degrees Celsius), the atmospheric pressure and temperature approximately 30 miles (50 kilometers) 40 miles (65 km) above the planet’s surface are almost the same as that of the Earth.

That makes the planet of the upper layers of the atmosphere, perhaps the most Earth-like area in the solar system, even more than the dry and cold surface of Mars.

Super-rotation

The atmosphere of Venus is composed primarily of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and is much denser and hotter than that of the Earth. The upper layer of the atmosphere of Venus exhibits the phenomenon of the so-called “super-rotation,” rotate much faster (every 4 Earth days) than the planet itself (every 243 earth days).

The resulting winds blow with speeds up to 220 km / h (360 km/h). But the wind slowly, as if the height of the surface decreases, with the breeze barely reaching 6 miles (10 km/h) on the Venusian surface.

This version of the story published on Space.com.

 

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