Venus or Sukra planet will soon have an ISRO spacecraft greeting in its orbit if Indian Space Research Organisation is able to create another milestone with its deep space exploration mission.
Not falling for the age-old saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, ISRO first visited the nearest object Moon before eyeing the Mars, which has catapulted its image beyond the emerging space players like China and Japan. Its Mars oribiter has completed more than 300 days and scientists are confident that it has enough fuel to orbit the Mars for another year.
ISRO tested its first indigenous High Thrust cryogenic rocket engine generating a nominal thrust of 19 tonnes on July 16, 2015 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, while another 25-tonne test is on the cards, enabling deep space missions in the future.
Space Scientist Narendra Bhandari from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, on the 46th anniversary of the first manned mission to moon on July 21, 1969, said ISRO’s mission to Venus is on the cards besides another mission to Mars and the Moon.
However, he noted that aiming at reaching Neptune and Pluto in the end of our solar system requires more powerful rockets, perhaps nuclear-powered ones. “We are also thinking of going to asteroids and comets,” he noted in a Skype interaction with visiting students at Mumbai Planetarium.”We need nuclear-powered rockets. We can even go to Jupiter,” he said.
Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from Sriharikota with 11 scientific instruments for chemical, mineral and geological observations at a height of 100-km in lunar surface.
The evidence of water for sure on the moon, was one of the significant contributions of the Chandrayaan mission, though it operated less than one year instead of its 2-year lifespan.
The next major milestone in ISRO missions was the deep space exploration to Mars, Mangalyaan-1, which was successfully put in an orbit of the Red Planet, a mission that turned the heads of all space scientists in the world on what Indian space scientists can do with limited budget and resources.
Now that the Chandrayaan-2 is very much on the cards, a manned mission to the moon is ISRO’s future target, besides another mission to Mars, hopefully carrying rovers this time to land on the Red Planet.
However, buoyant on its research outcome in cryogenic rocket testing recently, ISRO may not be far from eying higher and reaching farther, even to Jupiter and Pluto.
Apart from these three mission,s ISRO has plans to send a DAWN-like spacecraft to probe asteroids. ISRO chairman A.S.Kiran Kumar revealed this while attending the 24th convocation at Sathyabama University in April.
Dr Kiran Kumar listed three important future missions which are essential for ISRO — such as sample return mission, asteroid mission and lander mission.