KEY POINTS

  • Rocket Lab will send a commercial mission to Venus in 2023
  • Venus' atmosphere may contain traces of alien life, Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said
  • NASA is planning two missions to Venus

A private aerospace company is set to launch a commercial mission to Venus in the near future with the goal of investigating whether or not the planet’s atmosphere contains signs of alien life.

The announcement regarding a future commercial mission to Venus was made by Peter Beck, the founder and CEO of California-based aerospace tech firm Rocket Lab. His company is known for providing launch services to small satellite operators.

During a recent Q&A hosted by the company and live-streamed via YouTube, Beck unveiled some of Rocket Lab’s future plans. According to the CEO, the company is planning to launch a space probe mission to Venus sometime in 2023.

“I'm madly in love with Venus,” Beck said during the Q&A session. “I'm working very hard to put together a private mission to go to Venus in 2023.”

Beck noted that he selected Venus as an ideal target for the mission due to its similarities with Earth. As noted by the Rocket Lab founder, Venus was once like Earth until it went through catastrophic climate changes.

Due to Venus’ previous Earth-like conditions, Beck believes that the planet may have hosted alien life. As it went through extreme changes that led to the onset of hostile environmental conditions, the planet’s life forms may have left the surface to find refuge in habitable pockets in Venus’ atmosphere.

Beck believes that the aerial environment in Venus’ skies could have traces of alien life. Through a mission to the planet, Rocket Lab is hoping to obtain proof and collect data on Venus’ alien life forms.

“We're going to learn a lot on the way there, and we're going to have a crack at seeing if we can discover what's in that atmospheric zone,” Beck stated. “And who knows? You may hit the jackpot.”

If all goes well for the company, the upcoming mission from Rocket Lab will not be the only expedition to Venus in the near future. Earlier in February, NASA selected four potential missions that are focused on exploring the Solar System. Two of these missions, known as DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, aim to study Venus’ atmosphere and its geological features.

venus-globe Venus is closer to the sun than Earth and looks scorched today, but scientists suggest its surface may have once had enough protection from clouds to stay cool enough to have a water ocean. Photo: NASA/JPL