"The payload capability of the proposed satellite is likely to be 175 kg with 500W of power. However, these values are to be tuned based on the final configuration. The proposed orbit is expected to be around 500 x 60,000 km around Venus. This orbit is likely to be reduced gradually, over several months to a lower apoapsis," an ISRO statement read. The statement did not mention the time frame by which the ambitious satellite is to be launched. Currently, the Venus mission is in the study phase and ISRO has not sought the Indian government's nod for it.
"Exploration of Venus began in the early 1960s. Venus has been explored by flyby, orbiter, a few lander missions and atmospheric probes. In spite of the great progress made in exploring Venus, there still exist gaps in our basic understanding of surface/sub-surface features and processes, super rotation of Venusian atmosphere and its evolution and interaction with solar radiation/solar wind," ISRO said.
Venus is often described as the "twin sister" of the Earth because of the similarities in size, mass, density, bulk composition and gravity. It is believed the two planets share a common origin, forming at the same time out of a condensing nebulosity around 4.5 billion years ago. Venus is 30% closer to the sun compared to the Earth, resulting in much higher solar flux.
Russia, the US, European Space Agency and Japan have already conducted missions to Venus. Recently, Japan had sent mechanical explorers to the Venus at cost of $ 290 million. ISRO quest to other planet is mainly to find some original achievements in fundamental science and try its hand in cutting-edge space technology.
ISRO has also planned follow-on mission to Mars Orbiter Mission. India's second mission to Moon, planned for 2018, involves having a lander and a rover. ISRO's annual budget is approximately $1.1 billion, which is a tenth of US space agency NASA and one-fourth of its Chinese counterpart.
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