August 16, 2010: For the next few months, Venus will be softly resplendent in the evening sky, a treat for stargazers – but looks can be deceiving. Consider this: The Venusian surface is hot enough to melt lead. The planet's 96% carbon dioxide atmosphere is thick and steamy with a corrosive mist of sulfuric acid floating through it. The terrain is forbidding, strewn with craters and volcanic calderas – and bone dry.
Takeshi Imamura can't wait to get there. Imamura is the project scientist for Akatsuki, a Japanese mission also called the Venus Climate Orbiter. The spacecraft is approaching Venus and will enter orbit on December 7, 2010. Imamura believes a close-up look at Venus could teach us a lot about our own planet.Full story here