Shukrayaan I - The Hindu - 17/01/23
Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Venus mission, Shukrayaan I may be postponed to 2031. ISRO’s Venus mission was expected to be launched in December 2024.
->Causes for the delay:
-ISRO had originally planned to launch Shukrayaan I in mid-2023 but the pandemic pushed the date to December 2024.
-Optimal launch windows from Earth to Venus occur once around every 19 months. This is why ISRO has ‘backup’ launch dates in 2026 and 2028 should it miss the 2024 opportunity. But even more optimal windows, which further reduce the amount of fuel required at liftoff, come around every eight years.
-Right now the 2031 window is considered very good by the experts.
->Shukrayaan I Mission: Shukrayaan I will be an Orbiter Mission. Its scientific payloads currently include a high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and a ground-penetrating radar.
-The mission is expected to study Venus’s geological and volcanic activity, emissions on the ground, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary characteristics from an elliptical orbit.
-Shukrayaan-I will be launched on either GSLV Mk II or GSLV Mk III, the latter allows more instruments or fuel to be carried, according to ISRO.
a. Investigation of surface process and shallow subsurface stratigraphy. Until now, no prior observation of the sub-surface of Venus has been done.
b. Study of the structure, composition and dynamics of the atmosphere.
c. Investigation of Solar wind interaction with Venusian ionosphere.
-It will help to learn how Earth-like planets evolve and what conditions exist on Earth-sized exoplanets (Planets that orbit a star other than our sun).
-It will help in modelling Earth’s climate and serves as a cautionary tale on how dramatically a planet’s climate can change.
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