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Shukrayaan: Venus Mission 2024

By Shakti Pandey:- Recently, the new Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that it is expecting to launch the Venus mission by December 2024.

The aim of the mission is to study Venus’ atmosphere, which is toxic and corrosive in nature as clouds of sulfuric acid cover the planet.
Earlier, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced two new robotic missions (DaVinci Plus and Veritas) to Venus.

Edited by Shakti Pandey Updated on – 20 Jan 2023, 02:40 PM IST Photography by-PixelLab

What is Venus?
  • It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is the second planet from the Sun and sixth in the solar system in size and mass.
  • It is the second brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, probably which is the reason why it was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BC.
  • Unlike the other planets in our solar system, Venus and Uranus spin clockwise on their axis.
  • It is the hottest planet in the solar system because of the high concentration of carbon dioxide which works to produce an intense greenhouse effect.
  • A day on Venus is longer than a year. It takes Venus longer to rotate once on its axis than to complete one orbit of the Sun.
  • That’s 243 Earth days to rotate once – the longest rotation of any planet in the Solar System – and only 224.7 Earth days to complete one orbit of the Sun.
  • Venus has been called Earth’s twin because of the similarities in their masses, sizes, and densities and their similar relative locations in the solar system.
  • No planet approaches closer to Earth than Venus; at its nearest, it is the closest large body to Earth other than the Moon.
  • Venus has 90 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth.

Table of Contents
  1. Shukrayaan: Venus mission 2024
  2. Shukrayaan-I
  3. Significance of Shukrayaan Venus mission
  4. Challenges to the Shukrayaan mission
  5. Planet Venus
  6. Previous Global Venus Missions
  7. Future Venus Missions

Shukrayaan: Venus mission 2024
The success of Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan has pushed the ISRO to plan more ambitious missions for the future like Gaganyaan and Shukrayaan.
The ISRO is now readying a spacecraft to orbit Venus to study what lies below the surface of the solar system’s hottest planet, and also unravel the mysteries under the Sulfuric Acid clouds enveloping it.
The December 2024 window is being targeted for its launch with orbital maneuvers planned for the following year when earth and Venus would be so aligned that the spacecraft could be put in the neighboring planet’s orbit using a minimum amount of propellant.
The next similar window will be available in 2031 only.
Experiments planned include:
  • An investigation of the surface processes and shallow sub-surface stratigraphy,
  • Active volcanic hotspots and lava flows, studying the structure, composition, and dynamics of the atmosphere, and
  • Investigation of solar wind interaction with the Venusian Ionosphere

  • The orbiter, depending on its final configuration, would have a science payload capability of approximately 100 kilograms with 500 W available power.
  • The initial elliptical orbit around Venus is expected to have 500 km at periapsis and 60,000 km at apoapsis.
  • The satellite is planned to be launched onboard the GSLV Mk II rocket.
  • Sweden is getting on board India’s Venus orbiter mission ‘Shukrayaan’ with a scientific instrument to explore the planet.
  • Institute of Space Physics (IRF)’s satellite instrument Venusian Neutrals Analyzer (VNA) will study how the charged particles from the Sun interact with the atmosphere and exosphere of the planet.

Challenges to the Shukrayaan mission
  • The thick atmosphere and surface activity on Venus is a difficult area to maneuver. The complexities are far more than on Mars.
  • To have a deeper understanding, the instruments need to go deep through the atmosphere.
  • High-resolution instruments need to be used to penetrate the clouds and darkness in the Venusian atmosphere.

Previous Global Venus Missions
  • Venus was the first planet to be explored by a spacecraft when NASA’s Mariner 2 successfully flew by and scanned the cloud-covered world on Dec. 14, 1962.
  • Since then, numerous spacecraft from the U.S. and other space agencies have explored Venus, including NASA’s Magellan, which mapped the planet’s surface with radar.
  • Soviet spacecraft VENERA made the most successful landings on the surface of Venus to date, but they didn’t survive long due to the extreme heat and crushing pressure.
  • An American probe, one of NASA’s Pioneer Venus Multiprobes, survived for about an hour after impacting the surface in 1978.
  • Other successful Flyby Venus missions by NASA were Galileo (1989), Cassini (1997), and Messenger (2004).
  • More recent Venus missions include ESA’s Venus Express (which orbited from 2006 until 2016) and Japan’s Akatsuki Venus Climate Orbiter (orbiting since 2016).
  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has made multiple flybys of Venus. On Feb. 9, 2022, NASA announced the spacecraft had captured its first visible-light images of the surface of Venus from space during its February 2021 flyby, reported by Just News.



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