ESA’s Venus Express mission will be the first spacecraft in more than 10 years to visit our nearest planetary neighbour. To celebrate a new phase of exploration of Earth’s sister world, the Planetary Society has teamed with ESA to invite youths and adults worldwide to enter the Venus Express Art Contest for a chance to win a trip to mission control in Darmstadt, Germany when Venus Express arrives at its destination in April 2006.
Venus, shrouded under a dense haze, is a world steeped in mystery. Often called our sister planet, Venus is nearly identical in size and mass, yet its surface temperature is hotter than a kitchen oven because the thick atmosphere traps the Sun’s heat. Instruments on board Venus Express will study the planet’s atmosphere and see what drives the planet’s high-speed winds. An on-board camera will capture images of the surface by peering through ‘windows’ in the enveloping haze.
The theme of Venus Express Art Contest is ‘Postcards from Venus.’ Contest entrants are invited to imagine the surface of Venus from an above-ground perspective – a bird’s eye view of a mysterious world whose volcano-riddled surface contains few impact craters, indicating a planet where resurfacing on a global scale has taken place within the last 500 million years.
Susan Lendroth | alfa
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