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Russia will study the elemental composition of Venus’s soil
28.03.2021 [09:41],
Sergey Karasev

Head of the Department of Nuclear Planetology at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI RAS) Igor Mitrofanov shared new information about the large-scale Russian program for the exploration of Venus.

Recently, we recall, it became known that Russia began funding the mission «Venus-D» to study the second planet of the solar system from its orbit and surface. As part of this complex project, at the end of this decade, it is planned to launch an apparatus containing an orbital and landing modules.

As is now reported, during the mission, scientists expect to analyze the content of the main rock-forming elements of the soil of Venus. «To carry out such a study, we will include a pulsed neutron generator in our lander,» TASS quoted Mitrofanov as saying.

The device will irradiate the planet’s surface with pulses of neutrons, which will interact with the nuclei of soil elements, forming gamma rays. Their analysis will determine the presence and concentration of various substances in the Venusian soil.

It is assumed that the composition of the rocks will be determined at a depth of several centimeters. True, the development of a pulsed neutron generator has not yet begun — experts expect the necessary funds to be allocated.

We add that the Russian program for the exploration of Venus will include three phases. The first is the aforementioned Venera-D station, which will go into space no earlier than 2029. In another two or three years, the second probe will be launched, and by the mid-2030s — the third device.

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