HomeSpace & AstronomyJPL Robotic Balloon Prototype gets ready for Venusian Sky

JPL Robotic Balloon Prototype gets ready for Venusian Sky

Can a Hot-air Balloon Go To Space?
Can a Hot-air Balloon Go To Space?

The high pressure, high temperature, and corrosive gases on the surface of Venus are enough to disable a robust aircraft within a few hours.

However, at a height of more than ten kilometers, the thick atmosphere is more suitable for robotic exploration.

This time the project concept combines a balloon and a Venus orbiter to explore Venus: the orbiter is far away from the atmosphere, performs scientific measurements and doubles as a communication relay station, and a 12-meter diameter robotic balloon works in the atmosphere.

To test the feasibility, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and a team of engineers from partner companies successfully flew a two-thirds-sized robotic balloon prototype twice in Nevada.

Test flight of robotic balloon altitude control technology-min

In the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, a shiny silver balloon slowly rises to an altitude of 1 km, similar to Venus’ 55-kilometer high atmospheric temperature and density.

This technological milestone proves that balloon missions can replace orbiters in places where orbiters cannot, operating in the Venusian atmosphere for weeks or even months.

Lead researcher robotics expert Jacob Izraelevitz said: “We are very pleased with the successful test flight of the prototype, and the flight data can be used to improve the flight simulation model before exploring Venus.”

The current exploration of the Venus atmosphere is only carried out by the Soviet Vega 1 and 2 missions in 1985.

A 3.6-meter helium-filled balloon operates in the atmosphere of Venus for about 46 hours until the power is exhausted. Although the working time is very short, it also means that the balloon can be explored in the atmosphere for a long time.

Roaming the Venus Sky with Robotic Balloon

The ultimate goal of the project is to ride the Venusian wind and orbit Venus from east to west for at least 100 days, monitor the sound waves in the atmosphere from Venus earthquakes, analyze the chemical substances in the clouds, see the global environment of Venus, and then use the Venus orbiter to transmit the data back to Earth. .

Just like the Mars rover receives instructions to drive to interesting places, this time new technology: balloons in balloons (built-in airbags adjust buoyancy), so that robotic balloons can also reach specified altitudes through instructions: 52 and 62 kilometers above the Venus atmosphere.

Although the atmosphere of Venus is slightly more pleasant than the surface, there are still sulfuric acid and other corrosive chemicals, and long-term balloon flight is still not easy.

In order to resist acid corrosion, a variety of coatings are newly developed: acid-resistant coating, heat-resistant metal coating, to protect the scientific instruments inside the balloon.

Also, the seams of the balloons can resist acid corrosion and be sealed for a long time, reducing the leakage of helium from the balloons.

Because of the harsh environment of Venus, developing new material technologies is challenging. The experiment gave researchers confidence in the robotic balloon exploration of Venus.

The new balloon control technology can also be used in scientific research that requires the use of balloons to investigate the high-altitude environment.

SOURCEJPL NASA
Steven L. Werner
Steven L. Werner
Steven has been writing about technology and science since he graduated from University. He is mostly focused on finding and researching for cutting-edge tech and most interesting innovations.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

Follow us on Social Media!

12FansLike
15,848FollowersFollow
13FollowersFollow
676SubscribersSubscribe

Related Articles

South Korea’s plan to land on the moon and mine resources in 2032

Yonhap News Agency reported that South Korean President Yin Xiyue attended the "Future Space/Cosmic Economy Blueprint Conference" held at a hotel in Gangnam, Seoul...

Why do we always see the same side of the Moon?

We always see the same side of the Moon and that is because our natural satellite takes the same time to go around on...

Webb Telescope captures hourglass-shaped hot gas with Protostar

The Webb Space Telescope has released a spectacular new image. In the center of this "space hourglass" is a protostar that is only 100,000...

US Army’s X-37B spacecraft returns to Earth after completing 2.5-year mission

Boeing said that the X-37B, an unmanned spacecraft belonging to the US Air Force, landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November...

Explore More Articles

AT 2022cmc black hole jet event is equivalent to that of a trillion suns-min

AT 2022cmc black hole jet event is equivalent to a trillion suns

0
Exploding flashes of light in the universe from time to time is nothing new, but when a light comes from 8.5 billion light-years away...
PowerLocus P1 Wireless Headphones Review Specs

PowerLocus P1 Wireless Headphones: Review & Specs

0
PowerLocus P1 headphones are actually one of the very first products of the manufacturer. The product we have tested is known for low budget,...
Hubble captures Two galaxies violently merging in and creating a rare star ring

Hubble captures Two galaxies violently merging in and creating a rare star ring

0
After a chaotic merger of a pair of galaxies, the intense gravity twists a large, glowing ring of stars like a poached egg with...
New Gene therapy Roctavian can cure severe hemophilia

New Gene therapy Roctavian can cure severe hemophilia

0
Hemophilia patients have insufficient blood "coagulation factor", and will experience inexplicable bruises, nosebleeds, joint bleeding, and even fatal intracranial hemorrhage.In severe cases, coagulation factors...