Podcaster: Maanvinder Pilania
Title: Shukrayaan Mission
Organization: Astrophysics: Deep In The Space
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After the successful missions like Mangalyaan to Mars and a series of Chandrayaan missions to Moon, ISRO will launch a mission to Venus in the year 2024. The mission has been named as Shukrayaan. Shukra is a Hindi word for planet Venus. It will be ISRO’s first mission to Venus.
Bio: Maanvinder Pilania is a writer and high school student from India. He loves to tell people about the things he learns about this mysterious cosmos through hosting Astrophysics: Deep In The Space With Maanvinder Pilania podcast.
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Well, you may have heard about a lot exoplanet which are hotter but have you ever thought that we have also got one in parking around our star. Yes, you got that. I’m talking about Venus. Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system. Since 1960s dozens of missions have flown to Venus to explore this hot world. And today I have great news to share with you all guys. After the successful missions like Mangalyaan to Mars and a series of Chandrayaan missions to Moon, ISRO will launch a mission to Venus in the year 2024. The mission has been named as Shukrayaan. Shukra is a Hindi word for planet Venus. It will be ISRO’s first mission to Venus.
This first ever mission to Venus by ISRO will study the planet for 4 years. The orbiter would have a science capability of approximately 100 Kilograms with 500 W available power. Apoapsis is the maximum distance while periapsis is the minimum distance in orbit around a planetary orbit. So, the apoapsis point for Shukrayaan-1 orbiter is 60,000 km while the periapsis point is 500 km in an elliptical orbit around Venus.
Orbiter will carry synthetic aperture radar to study the Venus surface, which is shrouded by thick clouds that make it impossible to see the surface in visible light.
Also, it will study how the charged particles from the Sun interact with the atmosphere of Venus using another instrument known as the Venusian Neutrals Analyzer, which is a part of collaboration between Sweden and India. The orbiter will also carry a instrument to study the planet’s atmosphere in Infrared, Ultraviolent and Sub millimeter wavelengths.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun and it is the hottest planet in our Solar System because of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere of Venus due to the presence of more than 96% CO2 in its atmosphere.
This hot world takes 274.7 Earth days to complete its one orbit around the Sun. Venus does not have its own natural satellite. A lot of spacecrafts have been parked since 1960s around its orbit for exploration of this planet but Shukrayaan-1 is going to be the latest one.
It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets with more than 96% CO2 in its atmosphere. Venus is also the brightest object in our sky and that’s why it has been referred as the “morning” and “evening” star.
Venus once lies in the habitable zone of Sun at the time when our star was young. It also even had oceans that evaporated due to the runaway greenhouse effect. Due to the fact that this planet does not have a magnetic field, the water molecules may have broke into free Hydrogen and Oxygen due to a process called Photo-dissociation in which a compound splits into its elements due to the sunlight. The free hydrogen has been swept into interplanetary space by the Solar Wind due to lack of magnetic field.
Venus was the first planet to be visited and landed by a spacecraft. Mariner-2 spacecraft became the first to visit it in 1962 and to be landed by Venera-7 in 1970. Earlier in 2020, scientist announced the possible detection of Phosphine- a life-friendly element- in Venus’s atmosphere.
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365 Days of Astronomy
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