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Mission to Venus already configured: Isro chairman post Chandrayaan-3 plans

Calling it an interesting planet, Isro chief S Somnath said that studying Venus could answer several questions in the space science field

ISRO Chairman S Somanath

ISRO Chairman S Somanath (Photo: PTI)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Nearly a month after the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)  landed Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon and successfully roved over 100 meters around, it has now set sight on a new target - Venus.

Confirming the development, Isro chief S Somnath on Tuesday said that India's mission to Venus, the brightest planet in our solar system, has been configured.

The payloads for the mission have already been developed, marking a significant milestone in India's space exploration endeavors, he said.

Isro's Venus Mission

The mission, unofficially known as Shukrayaan, from Sanskrit words Shukra (Venus) and yana (craft, vehicle), is expected to launch in the coming years.

The primary focus of the mission is to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus, which is thick and filled with acids. The atmospheric pressure on Venus is about 100 times that of Earth, making it a challenging environment for exploration.

Also Read: RS unanimously adopts resolution congratulating Chandrayaan-3 scientists

Calling it an interesting planet, Somnath 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 one day be Venus. I don't know. Maybe 10,000 years later we [Earth] will change our characteristics. Earth was never like this. It was not a habitable place long long back," Somnath said.

Mission to Venus

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.

Also Read: ISRO's 5 upcoming missions set to cement India's position as a space power

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.

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First Published: Sep 28 2023 | 12:09 PM IST

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