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On the lines of Mars, ISRO plans orbiter mission to Venus


New Delhi, Nov 12: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) invites foreign experiments for its upcoming 2023 Venus mission. The space agency has made an announcement of opportunity (AO) to the international space community to submit their scientific payloads to be carried on the mission.

Tentatively marking the yet to be named 'Mission Venus' for mid-2023, ISRO has invited international proposals for scientific payloads on the rocket that will launch an orbiter to Venus.

Representational Image

The orbiter itself will have 12 instruments, including a thermal camera, mass spectrometer and cloud monitoring camera. The spacecraft will be able to carry about 100 kg, and will have 500W of power, according to ISRO.

The Venus mission will launch into a steeply inclined orbit around the planet, allowing it to get closer over several months. In an elliptical orbit, it'll eventually be 60,000 km away from Venus at the farthest end, and just 500 km away at the closest, similar to the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of 2013.

The mission will focus on studying the surface of the planet, its atmospheric chemistry, and the effect on it from solar radiation.

ISRO, in its announcement posted on its website, said "Proposals are solicited from the international scientific community for novel space-based experiments to study specific areas of science interest on Venus.

This AO has a specific objective to identify important science experiments that strengthen/complements overall science from the suite of pre-selected proposals from India on ISRO's Venus mission."

Proposers are expected to be currently involved in planetary exploration studies, the development of science instruments for space, and willing to develop space-worthy experiments, besides having access to associated facilities for test and instrument calibration.

Proposals will be accepted until midnight (IST) of December 20, 2018, ISRO said.

ISRO said it has identified broad research interests in Venus, which include researching the planet's surface/sub surface features and re-surfacing processes; its atmospheric chemistry, dynamics and composition variations; and interaction with solar radiation/solar wind.

In September 2014, India created history in space when MOM successfully entered into the Martian orbit, thus becoming the fourth space agency to reach Mars and the first country in the world to enter the orbit of the Red Planet in the first attempt.

ISRO's next Mars mission called 'Mangalyaan 2' may take place between 2018 and 2020. With a greater scientific payload to Mars, the mission will likely consist of a lander and a Mars rover.

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