The next Venus rover will have a steampunk vibe

Hybrid Autonomous Rover – Venus is the next spacecraft scheduled to explore our hellish neighbor, and it will be more like a clock than a computer to survive the conditions.

Jonathan Sauder of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory came up with the idea after past missions' electronics were fried in Venus' atmosphere in less than an hour on the surface. He told BBC Sky at Night:

"Venus and Earth are neighbours in the Solar System, almost equal in size and mass. Both should have received similar amounts of rocks and volatiles from the solar nebula [during their] formation.

"But their evolutionary paths are apparently quite different. The question is why have they become such different worlds?"

Answering that question is why we're going back because Venus might once have been even more like Earth than it is today.

It's thought that for much of its early life Venus had liquid water and habitable temperatures on its surface until a runaway greenhouse effect transformed it into the hellscape it is now.

Let's hope it will help Earth avoid the same fate!

Image: NASA