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Indian mission to Venus, - proposed!
Phil Stooke
post May 20 2015, 08:47 PM
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Interesting news item from The Asian Age:


Quick summary - looks like it's only a feasibility study, so I don't know how far it has gone along the planning and proposal process. But the veteran French planetary balloon proponent Jacques Blamont has been working with Indians on the plans, and one or more balloons in the atmosphere are part of the mission plan.


... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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post Nov 8 2018, 04:37 PM
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Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to international science community for Space-Based Experiments to Study Venus
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post Nov 12 2018, 02:23 AM
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This is very nice to read about. Although the word "orbiter" does not appear, it seems that an orbiter with no probe/lander is the intention.

There is a lot of potential for Venus exploration, and I'm delighted that India is joining the effort. I was just reading about ESA's Envision mission proposal, and it seems like any Indian orbiter and Envision could accomplish complementary science. For example, SAR at different wavelengths could offer contrasting measurements of surface roughness, more valuable than either alone. But without knowing if Envision will be selected or the instruments of the Indian Venus orbiter, it's too early to say.

I would love to see these orbiters carry out major portions of what can be accomplished from a low orbit, and then perhaps the next U.S. competitive mission selection could focus on goals that can be accomplished with an entry probe/lander.
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post Nov 12 2018, 04:12 PM
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The AO lists the total scientific payload as ~100 kg, presumably to be divided between the Indian instruments listed as selected in the AO (see below) and any foreign contributions. By comparison, the 2016 EnVision proposed mission's radar unit would have been 176 kg, it's Venus Emissivity Mapper at 14 kg.

Listed instruments to be provided by India:

1. S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
2. Advanced Radar for Topside Ionosphere and subsurface sounding
3. Ultra Violet (UV) Imaging Spectroscopy Telescope
4. Thermal Camera
5. Cloud Monitoring Camera
6. Venus Atmospheric SpectroPolarimeter
7. Airglow photometer
8. Radio Occultation Experiment
9. Ionospheric Electron Temperature Analyser
10. Retarding Potential Analyser
11. Mass Spectrometer
12. Plasma Wave Detector (Langmuir Probe, Electric Field Sensor and Magnetometer)

The elliptical orbit, initially 500 x 60,000 km, likely will limit the highest resolution imaging by the SAR to the latitude of periapsis.

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