India’s Venus Mission: ISRO invites proposals for space experiments

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) requesting the proposals from the Indian scientists and researchers to conduct space-based experiments.

The last day for the proposal submission is May 19, 2017, and the people eligible to send them will include; those currently engaged in the planetary exploration studies, developing science instruments for space or those who are keen on developing the space experiments. The AO was addressed to all institutions in India.

The mission, which is likely to be launched by end of 2020, will focus on studying Venus the second planet of the solar system. The study will include exploring Venus’ surface features and processes and its super-rotation in the atmosphere. According to ISRO, the Earth and Venus could be sharing an array of similarities in size, mass, and density and there’s a possibility that the two planets were formed at the same time in the universe about 4.5 billion years ago.

The exploration of Venus is not a new phenomenon; there are studies that began as early as the 1960s by the orbiter, flyby, and other few lander missions and impressive probes. But according to ISRO, these studies have not exhausted all the gaps that exist in the understanding of the planet surface and sub-surface features and their processes, and the super-rotation of the Venusian atmosphere. Also, it’s not clear how it was evolved and its interaction with the solar radiation and solar wind. This mission if successful would add a milestone in the findings of the space explorations.

The satellite mission will have a consignment capability of about 175 kg loaded with 500W power. The Orbit will cover a distance of 500 X 60,000 km around the Venus. This will gradually diminish for several months. The study will reveal the interactions linking the planet and the Sun, and this will help in interpreting the relationship between the Venus and the Earth.

The mission makes India be part of the global adventure and according to the former chairman of ISRO, K. Kasturirangan, the space-based experiments on Venus and the planet is essential to rediscover other places for human habitation.

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