The American space agency NASA will invest a total of 12 million dollars in developing scientific projects for Venus, Neptune and Jupiter. With this money, scientists can further develop their proposals.
The studies take place within NASA’s Discovery program, where scientists can receive funding for their projects. Ultimately, NASA wants to select two that will actually get a space mission; that selection must be made next year. The studies have in common that they contribute to the understanding of the origin of our solar system, according to NASA.
So there are now four projects, each of which will receive three million dollars to further develop their studies. Two of them involve Venus, with a group of scientists looking to investigate the atmosphere, including to find out if there were ever oceans on the planet. Another group wants to create detailed 3D maps, which should contribute to the geological knowledge of Venus.
The other two projects focus on the moons Io and Triton, belonging to Jupiter and Neptune respectively. In researching Io, scientists want to look at magma eruptions to find out how rocky formations form. The Triton researchers want to see if there is an ocean below the surface.