Astronomers discovered distinct traces of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. Phosphine is a chemical made of phosphorus and hydrogen which scientists believe may be a sign of life.
On Earth, phosphine is produced in the atmosphere naturally but also as a byproduct of anaerobic bacteria. Believe it or not, it’s also manufactured industrially…as rat poison. Here is the link to a twitter thread from the editor of the journal of the German Chemical Society explaining the discovery for non-scientists if you want to geek out.
Rocket Lab is ‘madly in love’ with Venus
You’ve probably heard of SpaceX and Blue Origin. They are both space economy companies pursuing space exploration. Elon Musk v. Jeff Bezos. Battle Royale.
Rocket Lab is also in the space race and is run by a fellow by the name of Peter Beck. Now even before this big discovery about Venus which was announced this Monday, Beck has been fascinated…in love with Venus. Why?
"It has long been hypothesized that its atmosphere could potentially support some kind of life, and I’ve always been eager to send a probe to find out. More than just the search for life though, Venus is a pretty good Earth analog for runaway climate change, so I believe there’s a lot we can learn from Venus’ past and apply to Earth’s future," says Beck.
Beck is not the only one in on the action by far.
Breakthrough Initiatives are space science programs founded by science and technology investor and philanthropist Yuri Milner. Japan also has a satellite orbiting Venus called Akatsuki. It’s been on a mission studying Venus since 2016.
What would Venue look like if it had water like Earth?
There are a lot of people interested in the emerging space race and also about terraforming, which is the transformation of an atmosphere and planetary surface to support human life.
Is this just about science or are there commercial applications involved?
There is actually a government agency that tracks the space economy. Morgan Stanley thinks that space will be a $1trillion industry by 2040 with near term focus on broadband satellites.
This is a big deal. If the discovery is confirmed, which could take a while, then it could cause a reexamination of everything we thought we knew about how life evolves.
Book a rideshare
In the meantime, if you’re interested, you can book a rideshare on Rocket Lab’s website.
No, seriously. It’s for payloads, silly, not people. Yet.