Current News Science & Technology Space


NASA will launch the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission in 2029.

  • The mission will be the first to study Venus through both flybys and descent.
  • The spacecraft is expected to explore the layered Venusian atmosphere and reach its surface by June 2031.
  • Only two NASA missions have previously visited the second planet from our sun -- Pioneer in 1978 and Magellan in the early '90s.

Mission Objective

  • DAVINCI, a flying analytical chemistry laboratory, will measure critical aspects of Venus’ massive atmosphere-climate system for the first time.
  • It will also provide the first descent imaging of the mountainous highlands of Venus while mapping their rock composition and surface relief at scales not possible from orbit.
  • The mission supports measurements of undiscovered gases present in small amounts and the deepest atmosphere, including the key ratio of hydrogen isotopes – components of water that help reveal the history of water, either as liquid water oceans or steam within the early atmosphere.

Spacecraft and Probe

  • Under the DAVINCI mission, NASA will send a spacecraft and a probe to Venus.
  • The mission’s carrier, relay and imaging spacecraft (CRIS) has two onboard instruments that will study the planet’s clouds and map its highland areas during flybys of Venus and will also drop a small descent probe with five instruments that will provide new measurements at very high precision during its descent to the hellish Venus surface.

Three Venus Gravity Assists

  • DAVINCI mission will make use of three Venus gravity assists, which will save fuel by using the planet’s gravity to change the speed and/or direction of the CRIS flight system.
  • The first two gravity assists will set CRIS up for a Venus flyby to perform remote sensing in the ultraviolet and the near infrared light, acquiring over 60 gigabits of new data about the atmosphere and surface.
  • The third Venus gravity assist will set up the spacecraft to release the probe for entry, descent, science, and touchdown, plus follow-on transmission to Earth.

Flyby & Descent

  • The first flyby of Venus will be six and half months after launch and it will take two years to get the probe into position for entry into the atmosphere over Alpha Regio with the goal of measuring the landscapes of Venus at scales ranging from 328 feet (100 meters) down to finer than one meter. Such scales enable lander style geologic studies in the mountains of Venus without requiring landing.
  • Once the CRIS system is about two days away from Venus, the probe flight system will be released along with the titanium three foot (one meter) diameter probe safely encased inside. The probe will begin to interact with the Venus upper atmosphere at about 75 miles (120 kilometers) above the surface. The science probe will commence science observations after jettisoning its heat shield around 42 miles (67 kilometers) above the surface. With the heat shield jettisoned, the probe’s inlets will ingest atmospheric gas samples for detailed chemistry measurements of the sort that have been made on Mars with the Curiosity rover. During its hour-long descent to the surface, the probe will also acquire hundreds of images as soon as it emerges under the clouds at around 100,000 feet (30,500 meters) above the local surface.

Other Future Mission to Venus

  • EnVision: EnVision (to be launched by 2031) is a European Space Agency-led mission in partnership with NASA. It will be the first mission to investigate Venus from its inner core to its upper atmosphere.
  • VERITAS: The VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) mission of NASA (to be launched around 2028) will map the surface of planet Venus in high resolution.

EnVision will work in synergy with NASA’s forthcoming VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy) and DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) missions to provide the most comprehensive study of Venus ever.

Some Interesting Features of Venus

  • A Day on Venus is longer than a Year: It takes Venus longer to rotate once on its axis than to complete one orbit of the Sun. That’s 243 Earth days to rotate once – the longest rotation of any planet in the Solar System – and only 224.7 Earth days to complete an orbit of the Sun.
  • Venus is hotter than Mercury – despite being further away from the Sun: Its mean temperature is 462°C. This is because of the high concentration of carbon dioxide in Venus’ atmosphere, which works to produce an intense greenhouse effect. Heat is trapped in the atmosphere like a blanket, causing the temperature of the planet to be much higher than its proximity to the Sun would suggest.
  • Unlike the other Planets in our Solar System, Venus spins clockwise on its Axis: All other planets spin anti-clockwise on their axis and orbit the Sun in an anti-clockwise direction. Venus also orbits the Sun anti-clockwise. The only other planet to spin in a weird direction is Uranus.
  • Venus is the second brightest natural object in the Night Sky after the Moon: The clouds of sulphuric acid in Venus’ atmosphere make it reflective and shiny, obscuring our view of its surface. Its brightness makes it visible even during the day.
  • Venus has 90 times the Atmospheric Pressure of Earth: That’s about the same as the pressure found at a depth of 1km in the Earth's oceans.

News Crux Science & Technology

Anocovax: India's first Covid-19 Vaccine for Animals

Anocovax is the first Indian Covid-19 vaccine for animals.

  • It has been developed by Haryana's ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines.
  • Anocovax vaccine is safe for dogs, lions, leopards, mice and rabbits and offers protection against both Delta and Omicron.
  • The institute also launched antibody detection kits for animals.
  • The vaccine is an inactivated SARS-Cov-2 Delta (Covid-19) vaccine. It also contains Alhydrogel as an adjuvant.
  • In April 2021, Russia became the first country in the world to register a vaccine for animals (Carnivac-Cov) against COVID-19.

News Crux Science & Technology

China Releases New Moon Map: World's Most Detailed

China has released a new geological map of the moon, to a scale of 1:2500000 which is the most detailed to date, registering even finer details of the lunar surface than mapped by the US in 2020.

  • The map includes 12,341 impact craters, 81 impact basins, 17 rock types and 14 types of structures, providing abundant information about geology of the moon and its evolution.
  • The new map has details of craters and structures not charted before that will assist in further research of the moon.
  • Previously, the US released a moon map to a scale of 1:5,000,000 in 2020.

News Crux Important Days/Weeks

12 June: World Day Against Child Labour

World Day Against Child Labour aims to focus attention on the global extent of child labor and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.

  • This year the day will be observed under the theme “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour.”
  • The 2022 theme of the world day calls for increased investment in social protection systems and schemes to establish solid social protection floors and protect children from child labour.
  • While significant progress has been made in reducing child labour over the last two decades, progress has slowed over time, and it has even stalled during the period 2016-2020. Today, 160 million children still engaged in child labour – some as young as 5.

News Crux Survey/Index

India's FDI rank rises to 7th position: UNCTAD Report

India jumped one position to 7th among the top recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last calendar year (2021) despite FDI inflows into the country declining, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  • In its latest World Investment Report, UNCTAD said FDI inflows into India declined to $45 billion in 2021 from $64 billion in the preceding year.
  • While the United States ($367 billion) remained the top recipient of FDI, China ($181 billion) and Hong Kong ($141 billion) also retained second and third position respectively.
  • Among the top 10 host economies, only India saw a decline in its inflows. However, outward FDI from India rose 43 per cent to $15.5 billion in 2021.
  • Flows into India declined to $45 billion. However, a flurry of new international projects were announced. The largest number of projects (23) was in renewables. Large projects include the construction in India of a steel and cement plant for $13.5 billion by ArcelorMittal--Nippon Steel (Japan) and the construction of a new car manufacturing facility by Suzuki Motor (Japan) for $2.4 billion.

Other Observations

  • According to the report, global FDI flows recovered to pre-pandemic levels last year, growing 64 per cent to $1.6 trillion.
  • The prospects this year are grim with the war in Ukraine results in a triple crisis of high food and fuel prices and tighter financing.
  • Other factors clouding the FDI horizon include renewed pandemic impacts, the likelihood of more interest rate rises in major economies, negative sentiment in financial markets and a potential recession.