A new report says that in 2024, India is planning to launch an orbiter to Venus. This mission was earlier planned to occur in 2023 but pushed a year further due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The mission is referred to […]
A new report says that in 2024, India is planning to launch an orbiter to Venus. This mission was earlier planned to occur in 2023 but pushed a year further due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The mission is referred to as Shukrayaan orbiter and is the first Venus’s mission by the India Space Research Organization (ISRO). The mission aims to study planet Venus for at least our years.
When it was releasing its call for devices in 2018, ISRO was targeting to conduct the mission in mid-2023. Speaking to members of the National Academies’ decadal survey planning committee, Antonita said that the mission was postponed to December 2024 due to pandemic-related delays. Antonita added that in mid-2026, a back-up launch would be carried out during the alignment of Venus and Earth with a goal of minimizing aircraft fuel usage in planetary transit.
Antonita told the committee that Shukrayaan would be launched on India’s GSLV Mk II rocket. There is a likelihood to shift to GSLV Mk III to load more instruments or fuel. ISRO will make this decision in the next 3-6 months. The spacecraft is expected to carry various instruments to be able to encounter the Venusian environment. A synthetic aperture radar will be the flagship instrument that will be used to experiment with the Venusian surface, that is surrounded by thick clouds, making it impossible to view the surface even in visible light.
Swedish-Indian collaboration also referred to as Venusian Neutrals Analyzer, is another instrument that will be used in the mission. The purpose of this device will be to study how loaded particles from the sun get to interact with the Venus atmosphere. In 2008-2009, the Indian Chandrayaan-1 moon mission studied how the particles of the sun affect the world with a tenuous atmosphere.
The Shukrayaan would carry another instrument to study Venus’s atmosphere in ultraviolet, infrared, and submillimetre wavelengths to Venus. Early September, French Space Agency said that Shukrayaan would carry its instrument. The instrument is known as the Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker (VIRAL); this is a partnership with Russian federal space agency Roscosmos. India will fly the instrument from Germany.
Since the 1960s, there have been so many missions that have flown to Venus, but very few have flown in recent years. Very soon, various spacecraft will be doing flybys of Venus. These include Europe’s BepiColombo en route to Mercury and NASA’s Parker Solar Probe for observing solar.