Science & Tech

ISRO postpones the Venus Mission ‘Shukrayaan’ until 2031

  • ISRO stated that it has yet to receive approval from the Indian government for the Venus mission, and that the mission may be delayed until 2031 as a result.

Shukrayaan I: Venus Orbiter Mission

  • Shukrayaan-I is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) planned Venus orbiter to study the planet’s surface and atmosphere.
  • The concept was born in 2012, and five years later, ISRO began preliminary research after the Department of Space received a 23% increase in the 2017-2018 budget.
  • Depending on its final configuration, the orbiter could carry up to 100 kilogrammes (220 lb) of science payload and have 500 W of available power.
  • The launch will involve GSLV Mark II.

Anticipated launch date

  • ISRO had hoped to launch Shukrayaan I in mid-2023, but due to the pandemic, the date was pushed back to December 2024.
  • Optimal launch windows from Earth to Venus occur every 19 months or so.
  • This is why ISRO has ‘backup’ launch dates in 2026 and 2028 in case the 2024 opportunity is missed.
  • However, even more optimal windows that reduce the amount of fuel required at liftoff occur every eight years.

Other Venus missions

  • Venus missions, referred to as VERITAS and EnVision, are planned for 2031 by the US and European space agencies, respectively.
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