This Powerful New Technology May Be The Only Way To Explore Venus

Imagine building a robot that will land on Venus' hellish surface conditions...yikes.

Venus is a toxic hellhole that's not only hot enough on the surface to melt lead, but the thick carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere has a pressure about 90 times greater than Earth's. This isn't very good news for any robots we want to send there to explore the planet and do science.

It's not like we haven't tried landing on Venus before. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the Soviet Union tried to send a series of 16 spacecraft to Venus as part of the Venera program - which included flybys, atmospheric probes and landers. But all Venus surface missions quickly succumbed to the extreme heat and pressure, most lasting for less than a couple of hours.

But there is hope. NASA engineers at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, are developing a new kind of integrated circuit that not only survives the rigors of being in space, it could also allow the delicate electronics inside Venus landers to live 100 times longer than previous efforts.

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Read More:

AIP Advances: Prolonged silicon carbide integrated circuit operation in Venus surface atmospheric conditions

NASA: NASA Glenn Demonstrates Electronics for Longer Venus Surface Missions

BBC: Venera programme