NASA is returning to sizzling Venus, our closest yet perhaps most overlooked neighbor, after decades of exploring other worlds. Bill Nelson, the space agency’s new administrator, announced two new robotic missions Wednesday to the solar system’s hottest planet. One mission will analyze the thick, cloudy atmosphere in an attempt to determine whether Venus ever had an ocean and was possibly habitable. A small craft will plunge through the atmosphere to measure the gases. The other mission will map the planet’s surface for a geologic history. The missions will launch later this decade.
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