The American Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) postponed the Venus exploration mission from 2028 to 2031 due to the budget cut by US President Joe Biden.
Sue Smrekar, principal investigator of the mission, called NASA’s “Venus Emission, Radio Waves, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture, Topography and Spectroscopy Measurements” (VERITAS), said at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the USA, that funding for the mission has been cut almost completely.
Smrekar stated that the delay of the mission was not normal and that her own teams would be distributed to support other missions of NASA, and argued that the VERITAS mission was progressing in accordance with the schedule and budget before NASA’s decision.
NASA Spokesperson Karen Fox noted that the budget for the VERITAS mission was reduced due to delays, logistical problems and labor shortages at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
WHEN WILL FINANCIAL SUPPORT BE PROVIDED?
Fox said it was “decided to delay VERITAS from 2028 until 2031 at the earliest,” adding that financial support could be reinstated to the VERITAS mission if JPL passes the assessment in 2024.
On the other hand, it was argued that postponing the task would cost more money in the long run and the success rate would decrease.
In US President Joe Biden’s 2024 budget request, which has not yet been approved by Congress, $3.38 billion was offered to the Planetary Science Division, which funds some of NASA’s missions, including the VERITAS mission.
1.5 MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE LEFT
The satellite will study the planet’s geological features, seismic and volcanic activities.
NASA’s Magellan spacecraft had found at least one active volcano on Venus on March 20. Researchers had announced that the lava coming out of the volcano changed the surface of the planet.