Black Swift developing drone to study Venus’ atmosphere

If humans someday discover traces of life on Venus, a Boulder drone company will have contributed to the achievement.

Black Swift Technologies, a local engineering firm that specializes in unmanned aircraft systems, has been awarded a NASA contract to develop a drone that will study Venus’ upper atmosphere.

While NASA so far only provided Black Swift with details relating to specifications such as the weight, size, and payload capacity of the drone, company cofounder Jack Elston said he suspects the space agency plans “to look for organic material or evidence of that material in the upper atmosphere.”

“They’re looking for vehicles to explore just above the cloud layer,” he said of NASA. “The pressure and temperatures are similar to what you’d find on Earth, so it could be a good environment for looking for evidence of life.”

Elston said this a particularly exciting project for him because he wanted to be

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