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ISRO planning a second Mars mission and a new Venus orbiter.

ISRO planning a second Mars mission and a new Venus orbiter.

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In Summary

After the ‘Mars Orbiter Mission’ (MOM) triumph, ISRO is preparing for the second phase mars exploration; after which they will turn their attention towards Venus, sending an orbiter. 

Editor Posted by Ansheed

One knock victory 

ISRO might be in the cloud nine after the hitting a sixer into the space sending 104 satellites in one go. ISRO made victories a habit, which the past would also testify. MOM, Chandrayaan and a dozen more are there to fill the list. Tailing recent success, ISRO is turning up for a new mission to send a probe to Mars under the MOM label. This time it might be a lander to dig more details from the red planet, but some discussions are also in progress to make add a rover, which will be more challenging. But on a safer side, MOMII might be an orbiter itself with much-upgraded techs and instruments. However, failed methane sensor in the MOM gave a bad time for ISRO coupled with its mediocre instrumentation. ISRO’s consistent track record had invited attention in the 2017 budget by achieving a massive 23% hike in the operating budget.

Combining hands

The second mission will be in association with France space agency, which improves the success rate. Despite the challenges, if ISRO is adding a rover into the MOM II, NASA is ready to offer their latest ‘Electra’ radio equipment to improve the communication between mission control and rover. NASA is also willing to tow some instrumentations with MOMII, if ISRO is interested.  However, ISRO has not yet finalized the type of spacecraft for the second Mars mission. After its consistent history of space successes, there is more pressure on this mission, which will put the team in a great dilemma. With progressing discussions, it is hoped to send MOM II by 2021 or 2022.

The Venus run

As ISRO is achieving capabilities for deep space explorations, they are planning to shift their attention to the next planet in the queue, the ‘Venus’. As a first step, an orbiter might be put on the Venus soon after the MOM II mission. One of the objectives of interests might be to study Venus’s carbon dioxide rich atmosphere which might wave some insights about earth's greenhouse build up. According to the CNES head, ISRO might be adding a synthetic balloon radar to study the Venusian atmosphere and temperature changes, but they need to tackle one major problem; the red-hot temperature on Venus’s atmosphere would damage the balloon instrumentation within an hour, so a metal balloon is what they are looking for. NASA might also collaborate in the Venus mission to aid the success.

Source: India eyes a return to Mars and a first run at Venus