It has been just reported the fact that 2025 will see the first private mission to Venus that will be searching for alien life in the could of sulfuric acid. Check out the latest reports about this below.
2025 – 1st private mission to Venus
Venus is a planet with extreme temperatures and is often a subject of research to determine if it could support life in its cloud-covered atmosphere. In fact, the possibility of high-altitude life on Venus is being investigated through the first-ever private mission to the planet.
This mission, which aims to detect evidence of organic chemistry, is scheduled for launch in January 2025 on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, a privately-owned launch vehicle provider.
Sara Seager, who is a professor of planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is leading the Venus Life Finder mission, which is the first of a series of planned Morning Star Missions to Venus. Last year, Seager, along with her university colleagues (including her son), published a research paper titled “Stability of nucleic acid bases in concentrated sulfuric acid: Implications for the habitability of Venus’ clouds” in the peer-reviewed journal of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
“We’re trying to look into the possibility that sulfuric acid droplets could host a biochemistry, not our personal biochemistry, but a different biochemistry,” Seager told Space.com. “We have a lot of lab experiments ongoing and some are coming to fruition.”
According to a recently published paper, the clouds on Venus contain a high concentration of sulfuric acid.
This chemical is known to be harmful and can destroy many of the biochemicals found on Earth. As a result, it was previously believed that Venus was unable to support any form of life.
However, a group of researchers led by Seager has discovered that certain molecules necessary for life, such as nucleic acid bases, are still stable in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid.
This finding suggests that the Venusian atmosphere may be capable of supporting complex chemicals required for life to exist.
“We do not know if the origin of life in concentrated sulfuric acid is possible, but such a possibility cannot be excluded a priori. Life could use concentrated sulfuric acid as a solvent instead of water and could have originated in the cloud droplets in liquid concentrated sulfuric acid,” explains the paper.
The researchers have found that complex organic chemistry, which includes DNA nucleic acid bases, can remain stable in concentrated sulfuric acid.
This finding has motivated them to plan missions that can detect the presence of organic material in the cloud particles of Venus.
According to the researchers, if life does exist on Venus, then ultimately a sample return from the planet’s atmosphere may be necessary to identify it with certainty.