Venus mission ‘Shukrayaan’


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    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is yet to receive approval from the Indian government for the Venus mission and the mission could, as a result, be postponed to 2031.

    • ISRO received an allocation of ?13,700 crores in the 2022-2023 budget, marginally higher than the year before. The bulk was diverted to the human spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan. 

    About the mission, 

    • Timeline: ISRO had originally hoped to launch Shukrayaan I in mid-2023 but cited the pandemic when it pushed the date to December 2024. 
      • Other ISRO missions, including Aditya L1 and Chandrayaan III, have also been affected by manufacturing delays and commercial launch commitments.
      • The idea was born in 2012; five years later, ISRO commenced preliminary studies after the Department of Space received a 23% hike in the 2017-2018 budget. 
    • Overview of Mission: Shukrayaan I will be an orbiter mission. Its scientific payloads currently include a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar and a ground-penetrating radar. 
      • The mission is expected to study Venus’s geological and volcanic activity, emissions on the ground, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary characteristics from an elliptical orbit.

    Progress of other countries 

    • Both the U.S. and the European space agencies have Venus missions planned for 2031 — referring to VERITAS and EnVision, respectively — while “China might go anytime: 2026, 2027.