Indian Venus Mission: Latest Information

IAS Prelims 2023

The Indian Venusian orbiter mission is a proposed orbiter to Venus by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to study the atmosphere of Venus. If approved and funded by government, it would be launched on or after 2020.

Recently, the study team has submitted its inputs addressing various options and opportunities for Venus mission. The study team’s inputs will be reviewed by Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ADCOS) for further considerations.

Meanwhile, the call for scientific proposals, through an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to conduct space based experiments has been made to Indian scientists. After completion of selection process of proposals, definition of mission including budget will be worked out. Ten lakh rupees has been sanctioned for the project.

A mission to explore Venus has been mentioned in Department of Space demands for grant 2017–18. ISRO informed in 2017 that the government had given a go-ahead for the planning of the mission.

Based on the success of Chandrayaan and the Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission), a team of ISRO scientists is studying the feasibility of future interplanetary missions to Mars and Venus.

The plans for such interplanetary spaceflights are under discussion, and the study team is exploring the various opportunities and options for missions to Mars and Venus, the closest planetary neighbours to Earth.

Based on the recommendations of the study team, the plans for missions to Venus and Mars will be chalked out.

The Government of India, in its budget for 2017–18, moved ahead, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave the Department of Space a 23 per cent increase in its budget. Under the space sciences section, the budget mentions provisions “for Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus”.

Jacques Blamont, an astrophysicist, has offered to provide the Indian Space Research Organisation with balloons carrying several instruments designed to deploy in and out of the extremely hot atmosphere of the planet after being unfettered from the orbiter.

On a visit to India in February, 2017, Michael M Watkins, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, said they would be keen to at least put a telematics module so NASA’s rovers and the Indian satellites are able to talk to each other.

Watkins said a mission to Venus is very worthwhile as so little is understood about that planet and NASA would be interested to partner in India’s maiden voyage to Venus. Towards that, NASA and ISRO have begun talks on trying to jointly undertake studies on using electrical propulsion for powering this mission.