New Delhi: The search for life outside Earth has long been underway. We have not yet got any intimation from people elsewhere in the universe—not even a ping either.
However, scientists believe more than finding life as it is, hints at the presence of oxygen will be a good job.
Oxygen being the basic supportive element for life, its presence could point at some life activity in the past or its potential emergence in future.
As part of this search and more, Nasa is fast getting ready Davinci mission which will "descend through the layered Venus atmosphere to the surface of planet in mid-2031", according to a release from NASA days ago.
The agency's Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission will have an instrument to measure the oxygen present on the surface of Venus.
Venus Oxygen Fugacity (VfOx) is a small button-size sensor which can work wonders when it comes to oxygen. Simply put, the VfOx could conduct groundbreaking measurements to detecting oxygen.
Davinci is touted to be a flying analytical chemistry laboratory. It is equipped to measure things that make up Venus's massive atmosphere.
Why is VfOx of all sensors on it interesting? You might well ask.
For one thing, it is designed by undergraduate and graduate students for the Davinci mission.
The sensor, mounted on the outside of the Descent Sphere, will measure fugacity, the partial pressure of the oxygen in deep atmosphere beneath Venus' clouds.
Arriving in Venus's orbit in two years of launching, the probe will ingest and analyse atmospheric gases and collect images during its descend. Finally it will land at the Alpha Regio region of the planet.
Coming to VfOx, it is more akin to oxygen sensor in many vehicles that detects amount of oxygen in the fuel systems relative to other components of the fuel.
"Understanding how much oxygen is contained in Venus' atmosphere will be important in preparation for characterizing Venus-like worlds beyond our solar system with the JWST and future observatories. How much oxygen Venus has in its deepest atmosphere will help scientists study these remote worlds," Nasa said.
Venus and Earth share some similarities—especially about their nearly the same size and density. Considering these features, scientists argue they are similar yet different. The search for oxygen of all things will be important considering the thriving life on Earth.
However, understanding Venus's change through ages is important. This could help us better understand what all changes climate change will bring about on Earth. Let's wait for missive from Venus as Davinci lands there.