After its successful Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), ISRO is eyeing inter-planetary missions to Jupiter and Venus and is studying their feasibility.
“We are looking at other planets that we can explore. So, two of them are Jupiter and Venus. The mission analysis is on what type of satellite we are supposed to build and what type of rocket we need.
“Studies are going on and it may take few years from now to have a concrete plan,” M Nageswara Rao, Associate Director, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said at a plenary session on science technology at the Indian Science Congress here.
He added that the chance of launching a satellite to Venus comes once in 19 months, considering the distance and earth’s position.
Venus, second in order from the Sun, is nearly 162 million miles away from Earth while Jupiter, which lies between Mars and Saturn, is nearly 610 million miles away from Earth.
Rao said a follow-up mission for Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) is also being planned.
“We want to have a follow-up Mars Mission and we want to have a mission to Venus. We want to go close, 70,000 km close (to Mars). Work for Chandrayaan 2 is also on. The project involves having a lander and a rover,” he said.
So for the first time, ISRO can have its lander land on the moon, which will give the space agency minute details of the earth’s natural satellite. Earlier envisaged as a joint collaboration with Russia, ISRO will now go solo on this project. Chandrayaan 2 is expected to be launched next year.