ISRO Planning to Send a Mission to Venus after 2020

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to send a spacecraft around Venus. The agency has invited scientists to suggest studies for a potential orbiter mission to Venus. Scientists have one month time to suggest space-based studies to IRSO.

”The formal mission on Venus may not happen before 2020 since the study need to be finalised, a project report need to be presented and approved by the government,” a senior ISRO official said.

“The Announcement of Opportunity [AO] is just the beginning. The studies must be finalised, a project report would have to be presented and approved. A formal mission may not happen before 2020,” a senior ISRO official told The Hindu.

The spacecraft will initially go around the Venus in an elliptical orbit and then come closer to the planet. It will take with it a set of scientific instruments to study the atmosphere of he planet.

Venus, described as Earth’s twin sister, is the second planet from the Sun. It is similar to Earth in mass, size, gravity, etc., but completely different in terms of atmosphere and conditions that are required to support life.  Venus is about 162 million miles away from Earth, and takes 225 days to complete one orbit around the Sun.

In February this year, ISRO created history by launching record 104 satellites in a single mission through its workhorse launcher Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) rocket. PSLV-C37 lifted off at 9.28 hours IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, and carried with it 104 satellites, including the 714-kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite. Of the #104 satellites, only three were Indian satellites and remaining 101 were foreign satellites.

About ISRO

Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Bengaluru, ISRO is the space agency of India that was created with an aim to lead India in space science research and planetary exploration. The vision of ISRO is to “harness space technology for national development”.

Prior to ISRO, Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), created in 1962, was responsible for managing space research program in India. India’s Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of India, manages all the activities of ISRO.

India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, was made by ISRO. Named after Indian mathematician Aryabhata, the satellite was launched in 1975 by the Soviet Union. In 1980, ISRO got success in placing the Rohini satellite in orbit using an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. Over the years, ISRO successfully developed two other Rockets – the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) – for launching satellites into polar and geostationary orbits respectively.

In the past three decades, these rockets have put several communications and earth observation satellites in orbits.

ISRO grabbed the attention of the whole world by creating lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1and Mars Orbiter Mission (MOS). Chandrayaan-1 was sent to moon on 22 October 2008. MOS also got success in entering the Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, thus making India the world’s first nation to succeed on its first attempt. India also became the first space agency in Asia and fourth in the world to have successfully reached Mars orbit.

In May 2016, India successfully launched its first-ever indigenous space shuttle – the Re-Usable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.