The Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos has decided to work on the Venera-D research mission to Venus without the United States, Executive Director for Science and Long-Term Programs Alexander Bloshenko said on Tuesday.
It was previously expected that Russian orbital and landing platforms, as well as a small US research station, would be launched to Venus as part of this mission.
“A decision has been made to implement the Venera-D mission, which involves landing and orbital platforms, as an independent national project without broad international cooperation,” Bloshenko said, as quoted by Roscosmos.
The Roscosmos official also expressed the belief that the detection of biomarkers in the atmosphere of Venus could not be considered as an “objective proof” of live on the planet.
“Credible scientific data on the issue can only be received through contact research of Venus’ surface and atmosphere,” Bloshenko explained.
Scientists from the UK Cardiff University and the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently discovered presence of phosphine, which is on Earth produced by anertobic organisms, in the atmosphere of Venus. Presence of phosphine was suggested in 2019 as an indicator of life on other planets.