NASA has announced the selection of five conceptual planetary exploration missions for further study ahead of a potential launch date of 2020. Selected under NASA's Discovery Program, the would be missions include the exploration of Venus and asteroids, as well as large scale analysis of near-Earth objects.
ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has found the best evidence yet of active lava flows on Venus. Earlier missions to Venus have shown that the surface bears the unmistakable scarring of fierce, ancient volcanic activity. However, prior to Venus express, no mission had been successful in directly imaging clues to contemporary volcanism. This quirk has baffled scientists for years, as it has long been assumed that Venus hosts an internal heat source, and that heat has to escape somehow.