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– Joan E Greve and Maanvi Singh

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Nasa is returning to Venus for the first time in more than three decades to gain a better understanding of the history of what scientists believe could have been the first habitable planet in the solar system.

Plans for two separate and ambitious deep space missions to Earth’s nearest neighbour were announced on Wednesday by the head of the US space agency, Bill Nelson. Launches were targeted for a 2028-2030 time frame, he said.

Related: Nasa plans return to Venus with two missions by 2030

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