NASA launches an experimental new stingray-inspired spaceship that would make it easier to explore the volatile surface of Venus
- University of Buffalo has sold NASA with a bold new design for a spacecraft
- Researchers based their design on a stingray, with flexible wings
- Code name BREEZE, the ship is tuned to the dense and warm atmosphere of Venus
Today, the University of Buffalo has announced that NASA has accepted its proposal for an experimental spacecraft that could navigate through the notoriously inhospitable Venus.
Developed in the Crashworthiness of the University for Space Structures and Hybrids Lab (CRASH Lab), the vessel was modeled after a stingray, with flexible chest wings that can maintain speed and stability in the thick atmosphere of Venus.
The vessel, called Bio-inspired Ray for extreme environments and zonal exploration or BREEZE, would be powered by solar panels that charge every two to three days when the vessel emerged from the dark side of the planet.
Scroll down for video
Researchers from the University of Buffalo have modeled their new spaceship on stingrays, with dynamic breast wings that will help it navigate through the thick and volatile atmosphere of Venus
"By taking our signals from nature, especially sea jets, we want to maximize flight efficiency," said Javid Bayandor of CRASH Labs in a statement.
"The design will allow an unreachable degree of control for such a spaceship that would be subject to severe zonal and meridional winds on the planet."
The atmosphere on Venus consists almost entirely of carbon dioxide and is filled with thick clouds of sulfuric acid.
It scores as the closest in the solar system, 93 times denser than the Earth's atmosphere.
Venus is also the hottest planet in the solar system despite being farther away from the sun than Mercury.
Venus is not the closed planet for the sun, but it is the hottest thanks to the dense atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid clouds
The thick atmosphere of Venus retains heat and maintains an average surface temperature of about 864 ° F (or 462 ° C), hot enough to melt lead, tin and zinc.
The pressure on the surface of the planet is the equivalent of 3000 feet under water.
The CRASH Labs project was part of NASA's Innovative Advances Concepts program, which grants grants of $ 125,000 to space technology concepts that the agency believes have radical potential.
In September, representatives of the Venus Exploration Analysis Group from NASA pitted the agency to make missions to the planet a new priority.
The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Venus is the equivalent of standing under 3000 feet of water on Earth
It has been 25 years since NASA last sent a spaceship to Venus for something other than a flyby.
Scientists would like to know more about the planet, which they believe has had many fundamental similarities with the earth in the early history of the solar system.
More information about what has changed Venus so dramatically can provide new insights into how and why life on earth has evolved.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE ATMOSPHERE OF VENUS?
The atmosphere of Venus consists mainly of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulfuric acid droplets.
The thick atmosphere absorbs the heat of the sun, resulting in surface temperatures higher than 470 ° C (880 ° F).
The atmosphere has many layers with different temperatures.
At the level where the clouds are, about 30 miles (50 km) above the surface, it is about the same temperature as on the surface of the earth.
While Venus orbits around the sun as it slowly revolves around its axis, the upper level of clouds zips around the planet every four days of the Earth.
They are powered by hurricane winds that travel at around 224 miles (360 km) per hour.
Atmospheric lightning strikes illuminate these fast-moving clouds.
Speeds within the clouds decrease with the height of the clouds and are estimated on the surface at just a few miles (km) per hour.
On the ground it looks like a very hazy, cloudy day on earth and the atmosphere is so heavy that it feels like you are 1.6 km deep under water.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) sciencetech (t) NASA