What is Shukrayaan-1, India’s first Venus Mission: All you should know

On Tuesday, ISRO chairman S Somanath announced that Shukrayaan-1, India’s Venus mission is making progress.

Shukrayaan-1: ISRO's Venus Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has turned its attention to Venus less than a month after making a historic first with the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the Moon’s south pole and subsequently launching the country’s first solar mission Aditya-L1. The Venus mission, also known as Shukrayaan-1, is progressing, according to ISRO Chairman S Somanath’s announcement on Tuesday. Several payloads are currently being developed, and the mission has been configured.

The planet Venus is highly fascinating. It also has a vibe about it. It has a very dense atmosphere. There are many acids present and the air pressure is 100 times that of Earth. One day, Earth might resemble Venus. I’m not sure. Perhaps 10,000 years from now, Earth will have changed. This has never existed on Earth. Long ago, it was uninhabitable,” Somanath remarked.

What does “Shukrayaan 1” mean?

The Sanskrit words ‘Shukra’, which means Venus, and ‘Yaana’, which means craft, are combined to form the name ‘Shukrayaan – 1’.

Venus

The concept for Shukrayaan-1 was conceived in 2012. The ISRO requested payload proposals from research institutions in that year.

The mission’s main goal is to investigate Venus in depth because it is sometimes referred to as “Earth’s twin.” This includes investigating Venus’s atmosphere and surface as well as its geological makeup.

NASA has expressed skepticism on the current viability of life on Venus. In spite of this, some scientists have not ruled out the possibility of bacteria existing in Venus’ upper atmosphere, where the pressure is closer to that of Earth’s surface.

Although Shukrayaan-1 appears to be moving forward, ISRO has not yet provided crucial information, such as the launch date and other crucial elements of the project.

The European Space Agency’s Venus Express, which orbited Venus from 2006 to 2016, and Japan’s Akatsuki Venus Climate Orbiter, which has been in orbit since 2016, are recent missions to Venus. Furthermore, the NASA Parker Solar Probe has made several flybys of Venus. The first visible light photographs of Venus’ surface were successfully taken by the spacecraft during its flyby in February 2021, according to a NASA announcement made in February 2022.

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