Venus used to be described as a sister planet because it shares a similar size, mass, and composition with Earth. But the similarities end there. Venus’s 900-degree-Fahrenheit temperature, sulfuric acid atmosphere, and overwhelming air pressure (93 times greater than our home planet’s) have ruled out manned missions, leaving scientists with the challenge to develop technology and techniques to withstand such a harsh environment.
For more than a half-century scientists have launched a barrage of complex equipment to the second planet from the sun, hoping that the instruments will survive the harsh Venusian climate long enough to transmit data. So far, the record to beat is 127 minutes. Orbiters have reached the second planet and tried to peer through its yellow haze, and last year scientists at NASA’s John Glenn Research Center submitted a proposal for using landsailing technology to navigate the Venusian surface. … (Popular Mechanics)