What after Chandrayaan 3? ISRO chief S Somanath hints at mission that can reveal a lot about Earth’s future

ISRO Chairman S Somanath says exploring Venus will help answer questions about the planet and Earth's future. Several missions are in the pipeline, with Venus already configured.

Sanchari Ghosh
Updated28 Sep 2023, 11:30 AM IST
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath (Mohd Zakir)

Venus is an interesting planet and exploring it will help answer certain questions, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath said while speaking about their upcoming missions. Recently, Somanath informed that there are several missions in the pipeline, of which Venus is already configured. 

Why ISRO is exploring Venus mission?

Somanath, while addressing the Indian National Science Academy in Delhi, said, "We have a lot of missions in the conceptual phase. A mission to Venus is already configured. Payloads have already developed for it."

ISRO Chairman added, “It also has an atmosphere. Its atmosphere is so thick. The atmospheric pressure is 100 times that of Earth and it is full of acids. You cannot penetrate the surface. You don't know if its surface is hard or not. Why are we trying to understand all of this? Earth could be one day Venus. I don't know. Maybe 10,000 years later we (Earth) change our characteristics. Earth was never like this. It was not a habitable place long long back.”

Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor. It’s one of the four inner, terrestrial (or rocky) planets, and it’s often called Earth’s twin because it’s similar in size and density.

ESA's Venus Express (2006-2016) and Japan's Akatsuki Venus Climate Orbiter (since 2016) are recent Venus missions. Earlier in February 2021 flyby, NASA's Parker Solar Probe captured its first visible light images of Venus' surface. 

What after Chandrayaan 3 mission?

Meanwhile, following the triumphant soft landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the lunar South Pole, ISRO launched the Aditya-L1 Mission to study the Sun in unprecedented detail.

In only six decades, India has rapidly ascended as a global frontrunner in space technology and exploration, with much credit attributed to the ISRO.

ISRO's laurels extend to space exploration as well, with feats like the Chandrayaan missions for lunar exploration, the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) in 2013—India's inaugural interplanetary expedition—and the initiation of AstroSat in 2015, marking the country's first dedicated astronomical pursuit.

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First Published:28 Sep 2023, 11:30 AM IST
HomeNewsWhat after Chandrayaan 3? ISRO chief S Somanath hints at mission that can reveal a lot about Earth’s future

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