After its successful Mars mission Mangalyaan, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) is planning for a mission to Venus, which is likely to be launched after 2020, reports have said.
For studying for potential orbiter mission to Venus, ISRO has invited suggestions from scientists, reports said. In a way, the speculations have been made official. But according to a senior ISRO official, the mission to Venus is not happening before 2020.
ISRO has stated as of now that it is planning to send a spacecraft around Venus. Initially, the spacecraft will make an elliptical orbit and then get closer to the planet.
According to a report in The Hindu, the spacecraft using 500W of power will carry instruments what would weigh 175 kg. The scientific community has been given a deadline of May 19 to suggest space-based studies.
“The Announcement of Opportunity is just a beginning. The studies must be finalised, a project report would have to be presented and approved.” He further said that, ” A formal mission may not happen before 2020,” The Hindu quoted a senior ISRO official as saying.
An approval for the mission to Venus needs to be taken from ISRO’s Advisory Committee on Space Sciences, followed by the Space Commission and finally by the government.
ISRO’s planetary missions:
In 2013, ISRO successfully launched a mission to Mars, marking India’s second planetary mission. The project was worth Rs 450.
In 2008, ISRO had sent an orbiter to the Moon and a second moon landing mission is planned reportedly in early 2018.
Previous missions to Venus:
In 1963, a robotic space probe called the American Mariner 2 was launched on Venus. In 1970, a Soviet Spacecraft Venera 7 landed on the surface of Venus and beamed back data to Earth.
NASA obtained additional data with the project Pioneer Venus in 1978. According to reports, there were several flybys that were carried out between 1980-1990 apart from Russia’s continued interest in Venus.
In April 2006, European Space Agency put the Venus Express, long-term observation mission, into the orbit around Venus. In December 2015, Japan sent Akatsuki to the planet.
What mission to Venus will mean to India?
Closest to Earth approximately every 583 days, Venus is the second planet from the Sun. Similar to Earth in several aspects, Venus takes only 225 days to revolve around the Sun. It’s closeness to the Sun, makes it hotter.
It will be another feather in the cap for India if ISRO’s mission to Venus turns out to be successful.