They then tried to come up with every possible reason for the strange molecule’s existence, including volcanic activity, lightning strikes and even meteorites breaking up in the planet’s atmosphere. NASA is currently considering proposals for two different Venus missions for funding under its Discovery Program: the orbiting VERITAS and DAVINCI+. The latter would fly the first probe through Venus’s atmosphere since the Soviet Vega balloons in 1985. Any of these efforts, along with additional observations using telescopes on Earth, could help bolster or weaken the case for phosphine on Venus. “It’s very speculative to say that there is life on Venus,” Wong says.