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Meet Venus: The Russian Planet


BY: Yusra Adil 



Groundbreaking discovery in the history of space exploration leads Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin to declare Venus as a Russian planet. To begin, Roscosmos is a space exploration corporation founded by the Russian Federation responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research. Rogozin revealed at the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition during his speech about Russia’s study and results of the planet Venus as well as another expedition to Venus for further research. 

So why does Russia claim Venus as a Russian planet? Well, extensive research and discovery claims that there is life on Venus, similar to Earth. Russia claims they have contributed immensely to space research related to Venus and are the only country to successfully land on Venus. “We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag behind," Rogozin told reporters on Tuesday. Researchers announced that they have spotted potential evidence of life high in the clouds of Venus. Scientists from the UK found chemical signatures of a molecule called phosphine, which is only produced by living things or in places where there are high heat and pressure. Since Venus isn't subjected to high heat or high pressure, life might have just found a way, as the planet is clearly capable of supporting unknown chemical processes. The UK research was carried out by astronomer Jane Greaves of Wales' Cardiff University and colleagues observed Venus using both the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at Hawaii's Mauna Kea Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (radio telescope system) in Chile. 

World wide scientists and researchers have suspected the caustic clouds coating Venus could harbor life. Unlike the stiflingly hot surface of the planet, its cloud decks are home to relatively Earth-like conditions, with temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures similar to what we feel at Earth's surface. Russia has devoted years of research and investment into exploring Venus. Between 1967 and 1984, Russia sent several probes to explore Venus. Most missions were unsuccessful, but several of these spacecrafts returned important data about the planet. Venera 7 was the first probe to successfully land on Venus's surface. However, the victory was short-lived and Venera 7 after transmitting some data about Venus’s atmospheric and surface conditions of Venus, died. Venera 9, which launched in 1976, took the first image, and the only one to date, of the Venusian surface from the ground-level perspective. The final Venera missions, 15 and 16, focused on mapping portions of the planet's surface. Dmitry Rogozin also claims that Russia is the first and only country that has successfully landed on Venus. 

While Russia has a rich history of sending spacecraft to Venus and has significantly contributed immense knowledge about the planet, they plan on continuing and taking a step further with their research. Adding onto Rogozin's claims that Venus is 'Russian', Rocosmos revealed that they plan an individual mission to Venus without international participation and involvement in addition to Venera-D a mission with the United States.

The mission, called Venera-D would send an orbiter, lander, and a long life surface station (LLISSE), which would house a series of instruments used to study the Venusian surface. According to Roscosmos, "The complex explorations will also include soil and atmosphere samples, as well as exploring evolution processes on Venus that has purportedly suffered a climatic disaster connected with the greenhouse effect that is much discussed on Earth today.” Venera-D was initially a combined mission with NASA, however, Roscosmos shares their interest in completing the mission on its own. 

The race to Venus has started and Roscosmos is not the only one interested; many international space organizations are keeping a close eye.


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