India Plans Mission To Venus

First Posted: Apr 22, 2017 06:30 AM EDT

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to undertake an orbiter mission to Venus. The probe is going to similar to the space agency’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) that reached the orbit of Mars in 2013 in the nation’s first such attempt. ISRO has invited suggestions from scientists for space-based experiments to be conducted in the Venus mission.

According to The Hindu report, the probable mission to Venus will carry scientific instruments that weigh 175 kilograms, making it 10 times heavier than the payload carried by MOM that weighed just about 15 kilograms. ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said this is still a preparatory, step and the organization looks at the kind of payloads for the Venus mission. At the moment, ISRO wants to know about the areas that scientists are interested in studying Venus.

The proposed orbit for the mission is expected to be about 500 x 60,000 kilometers around Venus, which will probably be reduced gradually over a duration of several months so that the mission orbits closer to the planet. Kumar also added that ISRO is working on the possibilities of many missions, and a probe to Venus is among them.

At the moment, however, ISRO is yet to decide details like when the probe will be sent and its payloads because it takes many years to complete the payloads and finalize the mission. As per a Deccan Chronicle report, ISRO will probably launch the Venus mission either in 2021 or 2022. The space agency has announced May 19 as the last date to receive proposals from scientists.

Incidentally, the exploration of Venus started in the early 1960s with the Venera missions by the former Soviet Union. Since then, several countries have explored the planet with the help of a few lander missions, atmospheric probes, orbiters and flybys.

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