In news– After sending missions to the Moon and Mars, the ISRO is now planning to launch Shukrayaan-I, which will be the country’s first orbiter mission to Venus.
About the Mission-
- It seeks to study what lies below the surface of the solar system’s hottest planet, and also unravel the mysteries under the Sulfuric Acid clouds enveloping it.
- The space agency is eyeing the December 2024 window for its launch with orbital maneuvers planned for the following year when earth and Venus would be so aligned that the spacecraft could be put in the neighbouring planet’s orbit using a minimum amount of propellant.
- The next similar window would be available in 2031.
- Among the experiments planned include an investigation of the surface processes and shallow sub-surface stratigraphy, including active volcanic hotspots and lava flows, studying the structure, composition, and dynamics of the atmosphere, and investigation of solar wind interaction with the Venusian Ionosphere.
- A key instrument on the spacecraft will be a high resolution synthetic aperture radar, to examine the Venusian surface, which is covered by dense clouds.
- The mission will also bring an instrument to Venus to examine the planet’s atmosphere in infrared, ultraviolet and submillimeter wavelengths.
- Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
- The third smallest planet in the Solar System, Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth’s “sister planet” because of their similar size, mass, proximity to the Sun, and bulk composition.
- As the brightest natural object in Earth’s night sky after the Moon, Venus can cast shadows and can be visible to the naked eye in broad daylight.
- Its orbit is smaller than that of Earth, but its maximal elongation is 47°. Thus, it can be seen not only near the Sun in the morning or evening, but also a couple of hours before or after sunrise or sunset, depending on the observer’s latitude and on the positions of Venus and the Sun.
- It orbits the Sun every 224.7 Earth days.
- Consequently, it takes longer to rotate about its axis than any other planet in the Solar System, and does so in the opposite direction to all but Uranus. This means that the Sun rises from its western horizon and sets in its east.
- It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide.
- The atmospheric pressure at the planet’s surface is about 92 times the sea level pressure of Earth.
- Even though Mercury is closer to the Sun, Venus has the hottest surface of any planet in the Solar System, with a mean temperature of 737 K (464 °C; 867 °F).
- Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in light.
- Venus does not have any moons, a distinction it shares only with Mercury among the planets in the Solar System.