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ISRO to carry out Venus mission next? Here is what chairman Somnath said

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman S Somnath announced on Tuesday that India’s mission to Venus, the brightest planet in the solar system, has been configured. He said payloads for the mission have been developed, marking a crucial step in India’s space exploration endeavours after the successful launch of moon mission Chandrayaan-3 in August this year.

ISRO Chairman S Somnath (File)
ISRO Chairman S Somnath (File)

Somnath, addressing the Indian National Science Academy in Delhi, said, “We have a lot of missions in the conceptual phase. A mission to Venus is already configured. Payloads have already developed for it.”

Calling it an interesting planet, he said that studying Venus could answer several questions in the space science field.

“Venus is a very interesting planet. It also has an atmosphere. Its atmosphere is so thick. The atmospheric pressure is 100 times that of Earth and it is full of acids. You cannot penetrate the surface. You don’t know if its surface is hard or not. Why are we trying to understand all of this? Earth could be one day Venus. I don’t know. Maybe 10,000 years later we (Earth) change our characteristics. Earth was never like this. It was not a habitable place long long back,” Somnath said.

Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is Earth’s closest neighbour in the solar system. It is one of the four terrestrial and inner planets, and is also known as Earth’s twin due to similarities in size and density.

In 2016, the European Space Agency (ESA) carried out a Venus mission — Venus Express — which orbited from 2006 to 2016. Even Japan’s Akatsuki Venus Climate Orbiter executed a mission to the planet, which has been orbiting since 2016.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has undertaken several flyby and other missions to Venus. It announced in 2022 that its spacecraft captured the first visible light images of Venus in a 2021 flyby mission. NASA’s future Venus missions are likely to take place in 2029, 2030 and 2031.

ISRO launched Aditya L1 spacecraft, India’s first space-based mission to study the Sun, on September 2 this year, after the success of Chandrayaan-3. Aditya-L1 is the first Indian space-based observatory to study the Sun from a halo orbit around the first Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1), which is located roughly 1.5 million km from the Earth.

 

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