India is gearing up for several space missions, including the Gaganyaan mission and the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Additionally, the ISRO Venus mission is also in development and gearing up for liftoff. The latest development is that Sweden will be partnering with ISRO for the upcoming Venus mission.
ISRO Venus Mission With Sweden
Ambassador of Sweden to India, Klas Molin said the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) will be working with the Indian Space Research Organization for the second time. “IRF’s satellite instrument Venusian Neutrals Analyzer (VNA) will study how the charged particles from the Sun interact with the atmosphere and exosphere of the planet,” he said to PTI.
The Venusian Neutrals Analyzer would be part of the IRF’s series of miniatured ion and ENA (Energetic Neutral Atoms) instruments, the Swedish officials explain. Previously, the first generation equipment – named SARA (Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer) – was aboard the Chandrayaan-1 mission.
Further, Molin applauded India’s venture into space and how the country has radically progressed in space exploration. To keep the Sweden and Indian collaboration going, the National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) will further boost the partnership, including private players.
ISRO Venus Mission: Foreign Collaborators
Sweden isn’t the only one collaborating with ISRO for the upcoming Venus mission. Other contributors including the space agencies from Russia, France, and Germany. According to an ISRO official, the space agency was eyeing June 2023 for India’s first mission to Venus. “But we are currently reviewing this mission timeline due to delays arising from the pandemic situation”, the official said. “Future launch opportunity is either in 2024 or 2026”.
To send a spaceship to Venus, there’s a close window that opens every 19 months. The ISRO Venus mission has already called for equipment and scientific experiments to be conducted. One of the selected instrument is VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gas Linker). The instrument is co-developed by CNES in France and Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The ISRO Venus mission has a priority investigation under the surface processes and shallow subsurface stratigraphy. Also, the agency wishes to better understand the solar wind interaction with Venus’ Ionosphere.
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