ISRO plans mission to Venus, eyes Dec 2024 launch window


Addressing a day-long meeting on Venusian science, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somnath said the Venus mission has been conceived, a project report made and “money identified”.

After launching missions to the Moon and Mars, the ISRO is currently preparing a spacecraft to orbit Venus to investigate what lurks beneath the surface of the solar system’s hottest planet, as well as the mysteries that lay behind the Sulfuric Acid clouds that surround it.

Addressing a day-long meeting on Venusian science, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somnath said the Venus mission has been conceived, a project report made and “money identified”.

He urged scientists to focus on high-impact outcomes.

“Building and putting a mission on Venus is possible for India in a very short space of time as the capability today exists with India,” Somnath said in his inaugural address.

The space agency is targeting a launch date in December 2024, with orbital manoeuvres scheduled for the following year, when the earth and Venus will be in such close proximity that the spacecraft can be placed in Venus’ orbit with the least amount of propellant. The next similar window would be available in 2031.

Somnath warned against replicating tests carried out by earlier Venus missions, instead of focusing on unique high-impact outcomes, such as those accomplished by Chandrayaan-I and the Mars Orbiter Mission.

 Surface processes and shallow sub-surface stratigraphy, including active volcanic hotspots and lava flows, will be investigated, as will the structure, composition, and dynamics of the atmosphere, as well as the interaction of solar wind with the Venusian Ionosphere.

(With inputs from agency)



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