Author Topic: India Planning Mission to Venus  (Read 2380 times)

Online sanman

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India Planning Mission to Venus
« on: 02/18/2012 11:55 PM »
ISRO has announced that it is studying a possible mission to the planet Venus:

http://www.internationalreporter.com/News-8251/india-planning-venus-mission.html

It would probably be an orbital probe that makes use of RISAT technology to pierce Venus' thick cloud cover.

I think it would be cool if one day ISRO could land a probe on the surface of Venus. To date, one of the Soviet Venera (13?) spacecraft was the only one able to successfully touch down and send back pictures of the surface of Venus.

(colorized by artist):


I would like to see images and recordings of lightning in the Venusian atmosphere.

Offline Hungry4info3

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #1 on: 02/19/2012 12:10 AM »
To date, one of the Soviet Venera (13?) spacecraft was the only one able to successfully touch down and send back pictures of the surface of Venus.

Venera 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 all landed safely on Venus. Of these, Venera 9, 10, 13 and 14 returned images.

You posted the Venera 13 image. I'll post the Venera 9, 10 and 14 images.
« Last Edit: 02/19/2012 12:16 AM by Hungry4info3 »

Online sanman

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #2 on: 02/19/2012 12:16 AM »
Cool, I stand corrected.  :)

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #3 on: 02/19/2012 12:20 AM »
You really have to admire the Soviet dedication to Venus landing considering there was missing important data early on for spacecraft survival.
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Offline ChileVerde

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #5 on: 02/19/2012 02:15 AM »

I think it would be cool if one day ISRO could land a probe on the surface of Venus. To date, one of the Soviet Venera (13?) spacecraft was the only one able to successfully touch down and send back pictures of the surface of Venus.


[Various snippages performed above.]

Yeah. Venus, because it's so hellish in comparison to Mars, seems to have gotten little respect, but I think some more surface probes would be worthwhile to figure out what's there and how it got that way. As well as being quite technologically challenging, of course.

How and why, for example, did the flat plates seen on the ground in the Venera picture get to be flat? Probably not sediment, but what?
"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Online sanman

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #6 on: 02/19/2012 03:33 AM »
I dunno, ash chunks flattened down by the melting heat and the strong surface winds? Or maybe just lava channels carving out slabs?

The ISRO announcement says they'd primarily be looking at analyzing Venus' atmosphere. I'm not sure what stuff about Venus is well-known and what's least-known. Presumably, science missions should differentiate themselves by looking at stuff that hasn't been looked at umpteen times before.

Offline baldusi

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #7 on: 02/19/2012 10:54 AM »
As I understand it is great for aerocapture, but we lack the necessary atmospheric models. More studies would help.

Online sanman

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #8 on: 02/20/2012 08:44 AM »
As I understand it is great for aerocapture, but we lack the necessary atmospheric models. More studies would help.

India's radar imaging satellite, RISAT-1, due to be launched next month, uses C-band for imaging (4.0-8.0Ghz), giving it all-weather capability. C-band would also be useful for penetrating the heavy cloud cover over Venus, to do a detailed mapping of the surface.

If aerocapture is relatively easy for Venus, then perhaps an orbiting probe could drop a tiny instrument package with heat-shield and parachute. India has already done a Space Recovery Experiment, SRE-1, where a heat-shielded capsule was de-orbited and recovered from the ocean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRE-1

All they'd have to do for Venus is to make a tinier stronger version of that, with some instruments onboard, and maybe using some kind of balloon airbag cushion or ballute. Aerocapture increases the odds of successful touchdown.

The lunar impactor released by Chandrayaan was suggested by President Abdul Kalam, and had an Indian flag painted on it. An ISRO veteran himself, Kalam's point quite reasonably was that if you're taking all the trouble to go to the Moon, then you might as well drop something onto the surface. Even though it obviously splattered across the landscape when it hit, Indian politicians got a lot of mileage from claiming that the Indian flag had been brought to the Moon.

I'm guessing that if ISRO were to present the idea of dropping something on Venus with a flag painted on it -- hell, paint it on the parachute, what difference does it make -- once again giving politicians the chance to boast about planting flags, then the mission would be assured of funding. Even if the chute and airbag failed and things splattered, politicians would still get a flag-bragging opportunity.

I'm just wondering what the size constraints would be for such a package.
« Last Edit: 02/20/2012 08:52 AM by sanman »

Online sanman

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #9 on: 02/20/2012 09:04 PM »
Just out of curiosity, what should a Venus rover look like?

What kind of general shape and form-factor should it have, in order to successfully navigate the hostile surface conditions of Venus?

We all know it's hot, but other than volcanism the surface seems quite stagnant, so I assume there won't be any molten surface to contend with. And of course the pressure is huge. And I've read that the surface winds are slow but nevertheless have force, due to the dense atmosphere, and can blow stones and rocks along.

So I'm thinking that a rover should be low-slung and flat, like a slab, with wheels or treads on the sides. Maybe there could be some kind of small wind-turbine that could draw energy from the wind currents, to help power the rover?

What kind of instrumentation could be used to determine the firmness or composition of the ground?

Since the atmosphere is so dense, while having slow wind, could buoyancy be a mode of travel? What is the best way to travel around Venus? How low do the clouds go? How far from the ground can you be and still effectively make ground observations without visibility being obscured by fog, atmospheric effects, etc?
« Last Edit: 02/20/2012 09:05 PM by sanman »

Offline simonbp

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Re: India Planning Mission to Venus
« Reply #10 on: 03/02/2012 09:16 PM »
You hit on the key point with the last paragraph; any mission to the Venusian surface would be more a high-temperature submersible than a rover. Here's the most recent JPL design for such a mission:

http://www.planetaryprobe.eu/IPPW7/proceedings/IPPW7%20Proceedings/Presentations/Session4/pr450.pdf

The Indian mission would be more comparable to Venus Express (the only mission currently at Venus), which is also descended from a commercial satellite bus.

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