The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to study Venus from an elliptical orbit that is closest to the planet at 500 km and 60,000 km at the farthest end – similar to Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of 2013.
Earmarked for mid-2023, the mission, tentatively named ‘Mission Venus’, has revived the 18-month-old pitch for what is slated to be the first Indian orbiter mission to Venus, The Hindu reported.
ISRO has opened the mission for international experiments and sought experiment ideas from space agencies, universities and researchers on planet Venus. These inputs should complement a number of Indian experiments that have been shortlisted from the responses that came in for the AO of April 2017. The responses, however, were said to be fewer and below expectations. The space organisation had then planned a total payload of 175 kg.
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The mission, if approved, will be India’s third interplanetary dash after Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and the MOM in 2013. A lunar lander along with a rover mission, called Chandrayaan-2, is also being readied for launch in January or February 2019.
While the Space Science Programme Office currently handles it, the entire project must be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Space Sciences and approved by the Space Commission and under the Central government.
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ISRO may lower the orbit of its planned Venus spacecraft after a while for better and sharper observations, the report said. The Venus mission would be comparable to the popular MOM in terms of its the orbit and the cost, The Hindu reported quoting an informed ISRO official.
The official further said the plan was in very early stages and decision on the weight of the spacecraft and the rocket it would need would be defined once the experiments were chosen.