After a successful maiden mission to Mars in September 2014, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now eyeing earth’s almost-twin planet Venus. ISRO, in an announcement of opportunities addressed to “all institutions in India”, has called for scientific proposals to develop the experiments. As per preliminary details about ISRO’s mission to Venus, the payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 175 kg with 500W of power.
Though no time-frame has been set by the ISRO for the ambitious mission, indications are that the Indian Venusian orbiter mission may not happen before 2020. The maiden mission to Venus, the second planet of the Solar System named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is in all probability going to be a modest orbiter mission.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar had earlier said that the mission to Venus is on the horizon and studies are underway. “Beyond that, Mars second mission and Venus mission are all on the horizon, we have to go through the various studies and then formulate, get the approval and move. Right now, they are all in the study phase,” he said while referring to the two new bold inter-planetary sojourns to Earth’s immediate neighbours.
Stating that exploration of Venus began in the early 1960s, ISRO said the planet has been explored by flyby, orbiter, a few lander missions and atmospheric probes.