Nearly three years after India's Mars orbiter reached Mars successfully on its first attempt, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) was planning a similar mission to planet Venus.
The organisation has invited proposals from scientists for conducting space-based experiments on the Venus mission, thus making a formal announcement of its intention to study the planet. The planned mission would carry on board instruments weighing around 175 kg which was 10 times more than the scientific payload carried by the Mars orbiter which had a payload of only 15 kg.
''This is still a preliminary step. We are looking at the kind of payloads for the Venus mission,'' said Isro chairman AS Kiran Kumar, The Deccan Chronicle reported.
To a question as to whether Isro had finalised its next interplanetary mission to Venus, he said, ''We are working on the possibilities of many missions and Venus is also one of them.'' He added, ''It takes many years to complete the payloads and finalise the mission. We will do a Venus mission for sure. But we are yet to decide other details like when the mission will be sent and the payloads. At present, we want to know about areas that our scientific community is interested in studying on Venus.''
According to Isro's plans, the spacecraft would initially go around Venus in an elliptical orbit (500 km x 60,000 km) before it got closer to the 'Yellow Planet'. The spacecraft would carry a set of instruments weighing 175 kg and using 500W of power. The scientific community had been given a month's time to suggest space-based studies by 19 May.