This week, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said Venus is a “Russian planet.” It’s unclear exactly what he meant by the statement, but, fortunately, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prevents countries from staking claims on a celestial body. Earlier this week, researchers announced the discovery of a molecule called phosphine, which could signal that life exists in the Venusian atmosphere.
Russia has some strong feelings about the planet Venus. Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, spoke at the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition and declared that Venus is a “Russian planet,” according to the Russian news agency TASS. (It’s not.)
This comes after the groundbreaking announcement on Monday that researchers have spotted potential evidence of life high in the clouds of Venus. The scientists found chemical signatures of a molecule called phosphine, which is only produced by living things or in places where there’s high heat and pressure. Since Venus isn’t subjected to high heat or high pressure, life might have just found a way.
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Scientists have long suspected the caustic clouds coating Venus could harbor life. Unlike the stiflingly hot surface of the planet, its cloud decks are home to relatively Earth-like conditions, with temperatures hovering around 86 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures similar to what we feel at Earth’s surface.
Possible Signs of Life Found in Venus Atmosphere
Between 1967 and 1984, the Soviet Union sent a number of probes to explore Venus. Most missions were unsuccessful, but several of these spacecraft returned important data about the planet. Venera 7, for instance, was the first probe to successfully land on Venus’s surface. (It died shortly after.) Venera 9, which launched in 1976, snapped the
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