"The twin missions mark the first time in more than 30 years the agency has ventured to Earth’s closest planetary neighbor. NASA also considered missions to Jupiter and Neptune, but ultimately chose these two based on their potential scientific value and feasibility of their development plans.
UCR astrobiologist Stephen Kane, who helped devise those plans, is thrilled by the selection. 'This is long overdue because we know so little about Venus,” said Kane. “It’s possible that Venus is a preview of what Earth could eventually look like.'"