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Missions to confirm signs of life on Venus are already in the works

In 2010, Japan sent the Akatsuki probe to study Venus’s atmosphere

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AFTER decades of neglect, our closest planetary neighbour is suddenly the flavour of the month. On 14 September, scientists said they had found phosphine on Venus, a potential signature of life. Will this discovery usher in a new era of Venus exploration, like that of Mars before it?

The Red Planet was thrust into the limelight in 1996 when scientists said they had discovered evidence for fossilised life in a Martian meteorite called ALH84001 found in Antarctica. “If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely …