Showing posts with label Inter-planetary missions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inter-planetary missions. Show all posts

ISRO Shukrayaan-1 Venus Mission

    The Indian Space Research Organization has a long history of awe-inspiring the rest of the world by completing space missions at remarkably inexpensive prices. 

    In keeping with this tradition, the ISRO has set its sights on a Venus mission that would cost between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 crore.

    "The price will be determined by the level of instrumentation. ISRO chairman S Somanath said, "If you install a lot of payload sensors, the cost would automatically go up."

    While foreign space organizations such as NASA spend vast sums of money on space missions, the ISRO prefers to focus on low-cost projects. 

    ISRO's Chandrayan-1 was a low-cost spacecraft developed for about Rs 386 crore. 

    The Chandrayaan-2 mission cost Rs 603 crore to develop, and Rs 367 crore to launch. (1 million USD is roughly = 7.8 Crores INR in 2022)

    The ISRO chairman said the agency is in the process of approaching the Union government for authorization for the mission, speaking to the media on the sidelines of a national conference on Aerospace Quality and Reliability.

    In response to concerns, he said that the timetable for Chandrayan-3 is still being worked out. 

    Following its Moon and Mars expeditions, the ISRO is considering a Venus trip. 

    Despite speculations that the ISRO is aiming a December 2024 launch window for the Venus mission, Somanath stated the timeline has yet to be finalized. 

    It would only be disclosed when the Union government had given its final approval. 

    The ISRO has worked hard to guarantee that it would be a one-of-a-kind mission. 

    "We have to be cautious with such pricey missions," he warned.

    "We don't want to conduct a Venus expedition just for the fun of it. 

    We're doing it because of the distinct identity that this mission will establish among all future Venus expeditions. 

    "That's the aim," Somanath said, adding that the mission would create a lot of data that scientists could use. 

    Despite the fact that the timetable has yet to be disclosed, the ISRO is well prepared. 

    "The technology definition, task package, scheduling, and procurement are all complete. But then it needs to go to the government, which will review it and ultimately approve it," he said. 

    According to him, Chandrayan 3 is now undergoing testing for navigation, instrumentation, and ground simulations. 

    However, no timetable has been established.

    India is preparing to enter the race to get to Venus alongside the US and many other nations after successfully completing Moon and Mars missions. 

    The mission's goal will be to investigate Venus's poisonous and corrosive atmosphere, which is characterized by clouds of sulfuric acid that blanket the planet.

    S Somanath, the head of Isro, said the project has been in the works for years and that the space agency is now "ready to launch an orbiter to Venus." "The project report is complete, the general plans are complete, and the funds have been identified. 

    "Building and launching a mission to Venus in a very short period of time is doable for India since the capacity exists now," the Isro chairman stated during a daylong seminar on Venusian research.

    The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is a Venus orbiter called designed to examine the planet's surface and atmosphere.

    In 2017, funds were given to finish early investigations, and instrument tenders were announced.

    The orbiter's scientific payload capabilities, depending on its ultimate design, would be about 100 kilograms (220 lb) with 500 W of power.

    At periapsis, the elliptical orbit around Venus is projected to be 500 kilometers (310 miles) long and 60,000 kilometers (37,000 miles) long. 

    Payload for science.

    The scientific payload will be 100 kg (220 lb) in weight and would include equipment from India and other nations. 

    Indian payloads and 7 foreign payloads have been shortlisted as of December 2019. 

    Instruments from India

    • Venus SAR L&S-Band
    • VARTISS (HF radar)
    • VSEAM (Surface Emissivity) (Surface Emissivity)
    • VCMC (VTC (Thermal Camera)) (Cloud Monitoring)
    • LIVE (Lightning Sensor)

    • VASP (Spectro Polarimeter)
    • SPAV (Solar occultation photometry)
    • NAVA (Airglow imager)
    • RAVI (RO Experiment)
    • * ETA (Electron Temperature Analyzer)
    • RPA (Retarding Potential Analyzer)
    • Spectrometer of mass
    • (Plasma Analyzer)* VISWAS

    • VREM (Radiation Environment)
    • SSXS (Solar Soft X-ray Spectrometer )
    • VIPER (Plasma Wave Detector)
    • VODEX (Dust experiment)
    • * Collaboration with Germany and Sweden is envisaged for RAVI and VISWAS. 

    International Payloads

      • Space Research Institute, Moscow, and LATMOS, France developed VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gas Linker).
      • IVOLGA is a laser heterodyne NIR spectrometer used to investigate the structure and dynamics of Venus's mesosphere.

    Overview Of The ISRO Shukrayaan Mission

    Surface/subsurface stratigraphy and resurfacing processes are among the three broad research areas for this mission; second, study atmospheric chemistry, dynamics, and compositional variations; and third, study solar irradiance and solar wind interaction with Venus' ionosphere while studying the structure, composition, and dynamics of the atmosphere.

    Shukrayaan Mission Inception, History And Status

    ISRO has been researching the possibility of future interplanetary missions to Mars and Venus, Earth's nearest planetary neighbors, based on the success of Chandrayaan and the Mangalyaan. 

    • The Venus mission proposal was initially proposed in 2012 at a Tirupati space meet. 
    • The Indian government increased funding for the Department of Space by 23% in its 2017–18 budget. 
    • The budget specifies funds "for Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus" under the space sciences department, and it was approved to perform preliminary investigations after the 2017–18 request for funding. 

    ISRO issued a 'Announcement of Opportunity' (AO) on April 19, 2017, requesting scientific payload ideas from Indian universities based on wide mission parameters.

    ISRO issued another 'Announcement of Opportunity' on November 6, 2018, soliciting payload applications from the worldwide scientific community. 

    The allowable scientific payload capacity was reduced from 175 kg in the first AO to 100 kg. 

    In 2018, India's ISRO and France's CNES had talks about collaborating on this mission and developing autonomous navigation and aerobraking technology together.

    • In addition, using his knowledge from the Vega mission, French astronomer Jacques Blamont indicated interest in using inflated balloons to examine the Venusian atmosphere to U R Rao. 
    • These instrumented balloons may be launched from an orbiter and gather long-term observations while floating in the planet's comparatively benign upper atmosphere, similar to the Vega missions. 
    • ISRO agreed to investigate a proposal to research the Venusian atmosphere at 55 kilometers (34 miles) altitude with a balloon probe carrying a 10 kilogram (22 pound) payload. 

    The Venus project is still in the configuration research phase as of late 2018, and ISRO has not yet received complete sanction from the Indian government.

    In 2019, IUCAA Director Somak Raychaudhury announced that a drone-like probe was being considered as part of the mission. 

    ISRO scientist T Maria Antonita stated in a report to NASA's Decadal Planetary Science Committee that the launch would take place in December 2024. 

    She also said that a backup date in 2026 exists. 

    ISRO has selected 20 foreign bids as of November 2020, including collaborations with Russia, France, Sweden, and Germany. 

    ISRO and the Swedish Institute of Space Physics are working together on the Shukrayaan-1 project. 

    ISRO chairman S. Somanath indicated in May 2022 that the mission will launch in December 2024, with a backup launch window in 2031.

    Shukrayaan Mission Salient Features

    Type of mission Shukrayaan-1: Venus orbiter

    Operator: ISRO

    Planned mission duration: 4 years

    Spacecraft characteristics:

    Manufacturer: ISAC

    2,500 kg launch mass (5,500 lb)

    100 kilogram payload mass (220 lb)

    Payload power is 500 watts (0.67 horsepower).

    December 2024 is the scheduled launch date (planned)

    Launch Vehicle: GSLV Mark II rocket

    SDSC SHAR Contractor : ISRO Launch Site

    Missions Primary Components:

    • Orbiter of Venus
    • Atmospheric probe for Venus
    • Aerobot balloon is a spacecraft component.

    ~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan.

    NASA 4-Wheel DuAxel Rover To Explore Moon, Mars, And Asteroids.


    The adaptability of a flexible rover that can travel long distances and rappel down hard-to-reach regions of scientific interest was shown in a field test in California's Mojave Desert. 

    DuAxel is a pair of Axel robots intended to investigate crater walls, pits, scarps, vents, and other severe environments on the moon, Mars, and beyond. 

    • The robot's capacity to split in half and dispatch one of its parts - a two-wheeled Axle robot - down an otherwise impassable hill is shown in this technological demonstration produced at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. 
    • The rappelling Axel may then seek out regions to research on its own, securely navigate slopes and rough barriers, and return to dock with its other half before traveling to a new location. 
    • Although the rover does not yet have a mission, essential technologies are being developed that might one day assist mankind in exploring the solar system's stony planets and moons.

    DuAxel is a development of the Axel system, a flexible series of single-axle rovers meant to traverse high-risk terrain on planetary surfaces, such as steep slopes, boulder fields, and caverns — locations that existing rovers, such as Mars Curiosity, would find difficult or impossible to approach. 

    DuAxel's Advantages:

    To cover greater distances, two connected Axel Rovers are used: 

    • DuAxel travels large distances by connecting two Axel rovers. 
    • They divide in two when they approach a steep slope or cliff so that one tied Axel may rappel down the steep danger to reach otherwise inaccessible area while the other works as an anchor at the top of the slope. 

    Tether that can be retracted: 

    • The Axel rover can lower itself down practically any sort of terrain by reeling and unreeling its built-in rope. 

    Greater Maneuverability: 

    • The two-wheeled axle simply spins one of its wheels quicker than the other to turn. 
    • The core cylinder between the wheels houses the sensors, actuators, electronics, power, and payload.

    ~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

    Find Jai on Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

    You may also want to read more about Space Exploration and Space Systems here.

    References & Further Reading:

    JPL Robotics: The Axel Rover System

    Educational Resources:

    Student Project: Design a Robotic Insect.

    Educator Guide: Design a Robotic Insect.

    NASA Asteroid Missions

    Asteroid day is celebrated every day at NASA. We are constantly gazing to the sky, from expeditions to asteroids in our solar system – some of which even return samples to Earth – to attempts to locate, track, and monitor near-Earth objects and safeguard our planet from possible impact dangers.

    Several ambitious missions to investigate unusual asteroids will be launched in the coming years. 

    In October and November 2021 NASA will be launching, 

      • Lucy is the Trojan Asteroids' First Mission
      • These primordial entities may contain crucial insights about the solar system's past, as well as the beginnings of biological stuff on Earth.

      • NASA has entrusted the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), with assistance from several NASA centers including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Johnson Space Center (JSC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Langley Research Center (LaRC).
      • DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technology aimed at preventing an asteroid from colliding with Earth. DART will be the first time a kinetic impactor will be used to alter an asteroid's velocity in space. 
      • The DART project is now in Phase C, directed by APL and administered by Marshall Space Flight Center for NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the Science Mission Directorate's Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, under NASA's Solar System Exploration Program.

    Followed by,

      • The Psyche mission will go to a rare metal asteroid that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. 
      • The asteroid Psyche is unusual in that it seems to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of our solar system's building components.

      • OSIRIS-REx has arrived at the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and is bringing back a tiny sample for examination. 
      • The mission took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 8, 2016. 
      • In 2018, the spacecraft arrived on Bennu, and in 2023, it will return a sample to Earth.

      • It has verified infrared sightings of over 39,100 objects in our solar system to far.
      • From December 2009 to February 2011, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) was a NASA infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope. 
      • The spacecraft was revived in September 2013, renamed NEOWISE, and given a new mission: to help NASA in identifying and characterizing the population of near-Earth objects (NEO).

    You may also want to read more about Space Missions and Systems here.

    What Is Artificial General Intelligence?

    Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is defined as the software representation of generalized human cognitive capacities that enables the ...