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Indian space agency turns eyes on Venus

Staff Writer |
After its mission to Mars succeeded, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans the first orbiter flight to Venus, for which it invited scientists across the country to present their projects.

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The Announcement of Opportunity has a deadline for May 19, and invites the scientific community to deliver studies supporting the trip to the yellow planet.

This is only the beginning, the projects will be analyzed and approved before the official launch, which will take place after 2019, a senior ISRO official told The Hindu.

After performing an elliptical orbit around Venus, the spacecraft must get close enough to the planet to study its atmosphere and surface, as well as its interactions with the sun.

According to ISRO, Venus is similar to Earth in size, mass, density, composition, gravity and formation date, so its research is very important for the understanding of our planet and the solar system.

Since the erstwhile Soviet Union sent the first flight to Venus in February 1961, about 30 missions have been carried out, the last one being Japan in May 2010.

However, we still do not understand the super rotation of the Venusian atmosphere, another of our mission goals, stressed ISRO.

The center also announced its aiming at increasing frequency of launches to 12 per year by building more satellites and lowering the costs of access to space.

As part of this initiative, ISRO plans to undertake the second mission to Mars in the first quarter of 2018, said ISRO chairman, Kiran Kumar, on its official website.

By launching Mangalayaan satellite in 2014 (Martian artifact in Hindi), India joined the select group of the erstwhile Soviet Union, the United States and Europe to conquest the red planet, being the only one succeeding at its first attempt.

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