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ISRO plans mission to explore Venus and Jupiter after Mars

ISRO is planning for bigger things, especially after its successful accomplishment of Mars Orbital Mission. The next logical step in this direction will be a mission to Venus followed by a mission to Jupiter. However, a lot will depend on the success of the GSLV-Mark III mission, which will be able to carry a payload more than 3 tons.

ISRO had sent an orbiter to Mars which had only the barest scientific instruments since a significant portion of the payload was composed of fuel needed to jettison the orbiter from the transfer orbit to the orbit around Mars. However sending a spacecraft to Jupiter or Venus will require careful planning and the probe will be bristling with scientific instruments and much heavier since sending the probe to the distant corner of the solar system must contribute significantly to knowledge. While the Mars Orbiter Mission was accomplished on a shoestring budget, a mission to Venus and Jupiter will involve much larger funds.

Venus is the second member of the Solar System and the best time to launch a probe comes every 19 months when after traveling for 97 days the spacecraft will reach a point when the Venus will be at its closest point from Earth. A similar situation also happens with Jupiter, and it happens once in 33 months while for Mars it is 26 months.

However, ISRO will take up the challenge one by one and will go for the Venus mission first and then Jupiter. A visit to the Jovian planet will take 26 months while a visit to Venus will take a little more than three months. Since the payload to Jupiter will be heavier, it will depend on a lot on how the launch of GSLV Mark III fares. The GSLV Mark III is scheduled to launch this month and will carry the heaviest satellites in the GSAT series with even more transponders than ever before.