“We are looking at other planets that we can explore. So, two of them are Jupiter and Venus. The mission analysis is on what type of satellite we are supposed to build and what type of rocket we need.“Studies are going on and it may take few years from now to have a concrete plan,” M Nageswara Rao, Associate Director, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said at a plenary session on science technology at the Indian Science Congress here.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave the department of space a 23% increase in its budget. Under the space sciences section, the budget mentions provisions “for Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus”.
India’s maiden mission to Venus, the second planet of the solar system, is in all probability going to be a modest orbiter mission.Watkins said a mission to Venus is very-very worthwhile as so little is understood about that planet and NASA would definitely be willing to partner in India’s maiden voyage to Venus.Towards that, NASA and ISRO have already initiated talks this month on trying to jointly undertake studies on using electrical propulsion for powering this mission.
In this context, proposals are solicited from interested scientists within India for novel space based experiments. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is addressed to all institutions in India. Those sending proposals may be currently involved in planetary exploration studies / the development of science instruments for space / willing to develop the experiments. The Principal Investigator of the proposal should (i) provide necessary details of the instrument which can address the scientific problems and (ii) be capable of bringing together the instrument team and lead the team for developing a space qualified instrument.The payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 175 kg with 500W of power. However these values are to be tuned based on the final configuration. The proposed orbit is expected to be around 500 x 60,000 km around Venus. This orbit is likely to be reduced gradually, over several months to a lower apoapsis.
It’s official. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has invited scientists to suggest studies for a potential orbiter mission to Venus - somewhat similar to the one that landed in Mars in 2013.
"The Announcement of Opportunity [AO] is just the beginning. The studies must be finalised, a project report would have to be presented and approved. A formal mission may not happen before 2020," a senior ISRO official told The Hindu.A mission must be approved by ISRO's Advisory Committee on Space Sciences, then the Space Commission and later by the government.
But a carefully designed Venus atmospheric descent probe of suitably small size could perhaps make it down the surface intact, and perhaps survive just long enough to send up a color picture of what things look like on the surface of Venus.
Anything that has any chance of surviving to the surface of Venus isn't going to be a cheap little add-on. The "small" Pioneer Venus probes were ~90 kg each.Even if you drop the requirement of surviving to the surface, the minimum requirements of a successful entry probe are far beyond something like MIP.
Gee, I was imagining some compact high-strength canister suspended beneath a ballute.
How much time would a descent to the surface approximately take, anyway?
Personally, I think that it would be worthwhile to have an additional extra mini-probe that would detach from the main orbiter spacecraft, to descend into the atmosphere of Venus. Various forum people have commented that aerocapture should be especially doable for Venus, given its conveniently thicker atmosphere relative to its gravitation. A detachable mini-probe that descends into Venus' atmosphere would be sort of counterpart or successor to the Moon Impact Probe on the Chandrayaan-1 mission.However, I don't see why a maiden Venus mission has to purely be restricted to an orbiter mission, when GSLV-Mk2/Mk3 allow significantly more margin for the payload mass envelope of the spacecraft than was previously possible, and given the time margin available.
According to Isro, the payload capability of the Venus-bound satellite is expected to be 175 kg with 500W of power. The orbit will be 500 X 60,000km around Venus, which will gradually reduce over several months.The focus of the mission will be atmospheric and surface studies, Sun-Venus interaction, biology experiments and technology demonstration. An Isro official told TOI that though it is an approved mission, the date of the launch is yet to be firmed up. The Indian mission to Venus+ has been listed as part of the department of space's demand for grants.
The orbit will be 500 X 60,000km around Venus, which will gradually reduce over several months.