ISRO makes announcement of opportunity for its Venus mission

With a mission to Venus on its  horizon, Indian Space Research Organisation has made an  Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for space based experiments  to study the planet.
The AO is addressed to all institutions in the country, and the last date for receiving the proposal is May 19, 2017, Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO said.
Those sending proposals may be currently involved in  planetary exploration studies, or development of science  instruments for space, or willing to develop the experiments,  the space agency said in an announcement on its website.
ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar had earlier said that  mission to Venus is on the horizon and studies are underway.
“Beyond that, Mars second mission and Venus mission are all on the horizon, we have to go through the various studies and then formulate, get the approval and move. Right now, they are all in the study phase,” he had said.
Venus is often described as the “twin sister” of the  Earth because of the similarities in size, mass, density, bulk composition and gravity.
It is believed that both planets share a common origin, forming at the same time out of a condensing nebulosity around 4.5 billion years ago.
Stating that exploration of Venus began in the early  1960s, ISRO said the planet has been explored by flyby,  orbiter, a few lander missions and atmospheric probes.
It said in spite of great progress made in exploring  Venus, there still exist gaps in our basic understanding about surface/sub-surface features and processes, super rotation of Venusian atmosphere and its evolution and interaction with  solar radiation/solar wind.
The planet is around 30 per cent closer to the sun as  compared to Earth resulting in much higher solar flux.
Pointing out that the payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 175 kg with 500W of power, the space agency said 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, and the orbit is likely to be reduced  gradually, over several months to a lower apoapsis, it said.
Scripting space history, India on September 24, 2014,  had successfully placed its low-cost Mars spacecraft in orbit  around the Red Planet on its very first attempt.
ISRO is expected to launch its second lunar mission  Chandrayaan 2 during the first quarter of 2018. (PTI)


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