8. Venus Aircraft
Northrop Grumman is developing its Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) an inflatable, propeller-powered aircraft, capable of travelling to and cruising round Venus for a number of years. The aircraft would have to deal with significant atmospheric pressure as well as extreme temperatures, flying at 50 kilometers above the surface of Earth’s sister planet. While the concept is intriguing, the implementation of the design and engineering into a real-life aircraft, which is mission-ready to explore outer space and Venus’ unforgiving atmosphere is somewhat questionable. In order to be considered for the space mission, VAMP would need to outbid other high-priority New Frontiers destinations such as the lunar poles, Io (one of Jupiter’s moons), Saturn and the Trojan asteroids.