Since the humans first raised their head from the ground and looked to the sky, the cosmos amazed and fascinated them. Since Ancient Greek, astronomy started to play a major role in the scientific activities of the human beings and it continued on a progressive scale until the Middle Ages so that afterwards the scientific progress in astronomy would go on. But that was a long time ago. In our times, people no longer concern only with theoretical problems of astronomy but they are looking for something even greater than that. They want to conquer the universe, and even if it sounds terrific, such a conquest would not necessarily be a triumph against hypothetical extraterrestrial competitors, but, more precisely, a means of survival. That is how the scientists and researchers of the world have turned their eyes over Venus, and although we may know more about our neighbor than about the deepest oceans of our own planet, it is still not very much. Enthusiasm emerges as an announcement claims that an inflatable plane might be able to fly Venus.
Such a plane would represent a solution for a new NASA mission, of the `New Frontiers` type. In 2012, a feasibility study was led by Northrop Grumman in order to test if an inflatable plane could pass the challenges that the hostile and extremely hot environment of planet Venus launches. According to Northrop Grumman, if such a plane would fly at an altitude between 55 km and 70 km above the skies of our neighbor planet, humans would finally be able to study Venus in a more detailed way.
Northrop Grumman is planning to work on this project and present it as a solution for the `New Frontiers` NASA mission. Their inflatable plane, called the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverability Platform (VAMP) should be able to fly by 2021 if it was to be selected by NASA.
Northrop Grumman has announced on May 15 that a team of scientists from the United States and from Europe has been gathered in order to verify the possibilities of such an ambitious project and to come up with ideas that could turn this dream into the reality of tomorrow.
“The board is a community-based, interdisciplinary science forum that the VAMP development team may interact with, ask questions of and request analyses“
said Ronald Polidan, a VAMP project scientist. He emphasized that the team of scientists will play a major role in the early stages of the project.
Image Source: spaceflightinsider