What All Is On ISRO’s Agenda After the Chandrayaan 2 Setback
Missions to Venus, Mars and the Sun, to a new space observatory and Indians in space, ISRO has busy few years ahead.
India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan 2 faced a heartbreaking setback as ISRO lost contact with the Vikram Lander right before its soft landing on the Lunar surface.
This, however, changes nothing on ISRO's agenda, as the space agency has planned missions to study planets like Venus, Mars, and even our sun in the next few years.
Here are a few big missions on ISRO's trajectory for the next decade:
Aditya L1 Solar Mission
Aditya L1 will be India's first mission to study the Sun. Planned sometime in 2020, the mission will study the solar corona by placing a 1500 kg satellite in what is called a 'Liberation Orbit', about 1.5 million km from the Earth. The liberation orbit is to achieve equal gravity from the Sun and the Earth.
The Aditya L1 will carry six payloads.
Astrosat 2 Space Observatory
Astrosat-2, ISRO's Second Space Observatory will place India's first multi-wavelength Space telescope to study the origin of universe and discover new planets.
Gaganyaan - First Manned Mission
ISRO's first manned mission, Gaganyaan will take its first flight in December 2020 and send three Indians to space by December 2021.
ISRO recently completed the first phase of training astronauts for Gaganyaan. The astronauts will be sent to Russia for further training.
The mission will place a spacecraft into the lower earth orbit of 300-400 kms with three astronauts on board. It will orbit the earth for 7 days and make India the fourth country to send humans into space after US, China and erstwhile USSR.
The mission has a cost of approximately Rs 9,000 crore, where ISRO will develop several technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape plan, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and flotation system and more.
Shukrayaan - Mission to Venus
ISRO also plans to go to Venus by 2023. The mission will be called Shukrayaan and will examine the planet to study polarisation of bright X-ray sources.
ISRO is also holding discussions with France's Space Agency CNES for a collaboration on the mission. The fly-by mission will be launced at around 400 kms over Earth and will have around 12 payloads, including a thermal camera, mass spectrometer and cloud monitoring camera. The spacecraft used will be a 100 kg, 500W rocket that will launch the satellite into a highly-inclined orbit at 500 x 60,000 km around Venus.
The mission will focus on studying the surface, sub-surface, atmospheric chemistry and interactions with solar raditaion or solar winds.
Mangalyaan 2 - Second Mars Mission
The Mangalyaan 2 or the Mars Orbiter Mission 2 will be India's second mission to the red planet after a successful Mangalyaan mission in 2014.
Planned somewhere between 2023 and 2024, ISRO's second mission to Mars will try to land on the red planet using a technique called Aerobraking.
Third Moon Mission, Possibly Chandrayaan 3
India's next moon mission, possibly Chandrayaan 3, is expected to launch in 2024. It will be a joint mission with Japan's space agency JAXA, where Japan will provide the launch vehicle and the rover and India will make the mission's lander. The mission has however, not yet been formally proposed for funding and planning.
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