In February, we reported that ISRO scientists were in the process of studying the feasibility for future interplanetary missions after the success of the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions. A study team exploring the various options and opportunities available for missions to Mars and Venus, has now submitted its report on Venus. Based on these recommendations, India's maiden mission to Venus will be chalked out.
The report submitted by the study team will now be reviewed by the Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ADCOS) for further considerations. Indian scientists have been asked to submit proposals for scientific experiments for the mission, through an Announcement of Opportunity. ISRO hopes to carry about 175 kg of payload that would consume 500 watts of power. ISRO has also initiated talks with NASA on using electric propulsion for the mission.
After the scientific payloads have been selected, and the details of the mission will be worked out, including the budget. An initial Rs 10 lakh has been sanctioned for the mission. Union Minister Arun Jaitley allocated 23 percent more funds to the Department of Space during the last budget, and specifically mentioned provisions for "Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus."
According to the initial plans, the spacecraft will be injected into an elliptical orbit around Venus, an approach that ISRO also used in the Mangalyaan mission to its advantage. The elliptical orbit allowed ISRO to capture images of the moons of Mars from never before seen angles. On Venus, the spacecraft is expected to be at an altitude of 500 km at its closest approach, and be at a distance of 60,000 km at its farthest point. There is only an orbiter, and no landing component on the Venus mission, which is scheduled to take place after 2020.
Other missions for planetary research being planned by ISRO include Mangalyaan-2, a follow up mission to Mars, Chandrayaan-2, a follow up mission to the Moon, The Aditya mission which will be India's solar observatory, The POLIX (X-ray Polarimeter Experiment) mission to observe celestial bodies that emit x-rays, The IRSIS (Infra-Red Spectroscopic Imaging Survey) mission for conducting infrared spectroscopic surveys of the skies on Earth and the SENSE (Satellite for Earth’s Near Space Environment) mission for investigating electrodynamical environment near the Earth.