The Russian space mission with the participation of NASA will be able to verify the message about the detection of possible traces of life on Venus.
Lyudmila Zasova, a leading researcher at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said this in an interview with RT.
Earlier, at a press conference at the British Royal Astronomical Society, scientists from Cardiff University (UK) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) reported that traces of phosphine gas of unknown origin were found in the acid clouds of Venus, which is a possible biomarker.
In turn, the head of NASA Jim Bridenstein said that the detection of phosphine in the atmosphere of this planet, closest to Earth, is an important event for the search for the possible existence of extraterrestrial life.
In an interview with RT, Lyudmila Zasova commented on the message about the discovery of possible traces of life in the Venusian clouds.
“Life in the clouds of Venus has been discussed for a long time.
In the clouds of sulfuric acid at an altitude of 60-55 km from the surface of this planet, conditions are quite earthly.
Suitable temperature and pressure, up to 25% water ", - said Zasova.
According to the scientist, the discovery of traces of phosphine gas on Venus may indicate the presence of various extremophile microorganisms - anaerobic bacteria that do not feed on oxygen, similar to those that live on Earth.
Drawing "To Venus" by artist Andrey Sokolov
Lyudmila Zasova reported that scientists observed a wide band of this gas in the Venusian atmosphere using very powerful telescopes.
At the same time, the nature of the origin of the gas is still unknown and an interplanetary mission is required to establish it.
Only she will help find these microbes, the scientist is sure.
It is also quite possible that phosphine appeared in the atmosphere of Venus as a result of the action of volcanoes, lightning and meteorites, says Zasova.
“These can be not only microbes, but we would like them to be microbes.
There is not enough such gas on Earth, but there really is a lot, ”she said in a conversation with RT.
The resumption of the exploration of Venus was announced on September 15 by the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, calling it a "Russian planet."
It is not by chance that Venus is named.
As a result of the launches of a series of Soviet automatic interplanetary stations for the study of Venus, Russian spacecraft were the first and only ones not only to land on the planet's surface, but also to successfully transmit data to Earth.
Automatic interplanetary station launched to Venus on February 12, 1961
© Alexander Mokletsov
According to Zasova, the Russian space mission "Venus-D" ("Venus Long-lived") with the participation of NASA is scheduled for 2029.
It will put an end to the question of the existence of life on this planet.
This mission, according to Lyudmila Zasova, consists of Russian orbital and landing vehicles.
Small American stations will be attached to the orbiter, which will live for two months.
Also, a special balloon with variable altitude will be used to study the planet's atmosphere, which will explore the cloud layer at an altitude of 50 to 60 km above Venus.
The Russian lander, based on a modified Soviet apparatus, is designed for two hours of "life" on the planet.
Long-lived American stations will operate on the surface for two to four months, that is, the entire Venusian day, Zasova said.
They will measure seismicity, wind force, surface conditions, temperature, pressure, illumination, heat flux.
“This is necessary for the return of Venus soil in the future.
We must figure out the best surface conditions for planting and collecting soil.
Such cooperation in space between Russia and the United States may be no less important than the Soyuz-Apollo mission at the height of the Cold War in 1975.
This is very important for science, ”concluded Lyudmila Zasova.