NASA has announced two robotic missions to Venus after decades of exploring other worlds.
The space agency will return to Earth’s closest neighbour which is also the solar system’s hottest planet, new Nasa administrator Bill Nelson said in his first major address to employees.
‘These two sister missions both aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world capable of melting lead at the surface,’ Mr Nelson said.
One mission named DaVinci Plus will analyse the thick, cloudy Venusian atmosphere in an attempt to determine whether the inferno planet ever had an ocean and was possibly habitable. A small craft will plunge through the atmosphere to measure the gases.
It will be the first US-led mission to the Venusian atmosphere since 1978.
The other mission, calle...