The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set for its upcoming missions Shukrayaan to Venus and the X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat). These missions come after the successful Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L-1 missions. Let’s take a closer look at what ISRO has in store.
In December of this year, ISRO will launch XPoSat, also known as the X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite. This satellite has a unique purpose: to study bright X-ray pulsars and stars that are nearing the end of their lifecycle. It will provide valuable insights into the universe’s secrets.
ISRO is gearing up for the Venus mission, known as ‘Shukrayaan.’ This mission aims to explore Venus, the brightest planet in our solar system. Scientists have already configured the mission, and its scientific instruments are ready. ISRO plans to launch Shukrayaan in December next year, with orbital manoeuvres scheduled for the following year. This timing is crucial because it allows the spacecraft to reach Venus using minimal propellant. The next suitable launch window won’t come until 2031.
During a recent address to the Indian National Science Academy in Delhi, ISRO Chief S. Somanath explained the significance of studying Venus. Venus has a thick atmosphere with an atmospheric pressure 100 times that of Earth. It is a hostile environment, full of acids, and its surface is a mystery. Understanding Venus helps us grasp the possibility of Earth undergoing similar changes in the distant future, TOI reported.
Venus: Earth’s Closest Neighbour
Venus is Earth’s nearest planetary neighbours, often referred to as Earth’s twin due to its similar size and density. Other countries have previously launched missions to Venus, including the European Space Agency’s Venus Express and Japan’s Akatsuki Venus Climate Orbiter. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has also made multiple flybys of Venus.
ISRO has ambitious plans for future missions. Somanath mentioned a satellite called ExoWorlds, which will study exo-solar planets—planets beyond our solar system that orbit other stars. There are over 5,000 known exo-planets, with at least 100 believed to have atmospheres. The mission aims to study these atmospheres to determine if they could support life. Additionally, ISRO is in the conceptual stage of planning a Mars Lander Mission.
In short, ISRO is making significant strides in space exploration with upcoming missions- Shukrayaan and XPoSat. These missions will expand our knowledge of the universe and potentially uncover new insights about our own planet’s future. ISRO’s dedication to scientific discovery promises exciting developments in space exploration.
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