The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has asked the international space community to propose their scientific payloads to be carried along on its mid-2023-planned mission to Venus. ISRO, on its website, said “proposals are solicited from the international scientific community for novel space-based experiments to study specific areas of science interest on Venus. This AO has a specific objective to identify important science experiments that strengthen/complements overall science from the suite of pre-selected proposals from India on ISRO’s Venus mission.”
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India will be sending 12 scientific payloads aboard the satellite for the Venus mission, including a thermal camera, mass spectrometer, cloud monitoring camera, ultraviolet (UV) imaging spectroscopy telescope, Ionospheric electron temperature analyser, retarding potential analyser, advanced radar for topside ionosphere and subsurface sounding. The final spacecraft is likely to have a payload capacity of close to 100 kg, with 500W of power, according to the ISRO website.
“This is the natural progression for ISRO. For years, India’s space missions focussed on its local and economic usability. If the organisation has to progress and compete with other major space programmes, it will have to look at pure exploratory missions like Chandryaan and Mangalyaan,” Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at Observer Research Foundation was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying.
“This will establish ISRO’s image as a low-cost launcher and to address capacity deficit in ISRO’s for catering to the commercial needs, it will help to open up the space sector for collaborations with private players using tried and tested launch vehicles like the PSLV,” she added.
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Venus is considered to be Earth’s “twin sister” because of similarities in size, mass, density, composition and gravity. The mission will focus on studying the surface and the sub-surface of the planet, atmospheric chemistry, and the interactions with solar radiation or solar winds.
(With inputs from agencies)