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What is Venus Mission ‘Shukrayaan I’ ?

Jan 19, 2023

What is Venus Mission ‘Shukrayaan I’

Enhance your UPSC CSE preparation with our daily dose of Current Affairs wherein we discuss topics that make news at National and International level.

In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will discuss Venus Mission ‘Shukrayaan I’ . The topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: General Science

Venus mission, Shukrayaan I, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

For Mains: General Studies III- Awareness in the field of Space 


Recently Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Venus mission called Shukrayaan I, which was scheduled to be launched in December 2024, is now expected to be delayed until 2031.

Probable Question 

Explain Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Venus mission called Shukrayaan I. (150 words, 10 marks)

About Venus Mission ‘Shukrayaan’

  • The idea was born in 2012.
  • Shukrayaan I will be an orbiter mission. 
  • The preliminary study by the ISRO for the mission was commenced after the Department of Space received a 23% hike in the 2017-2018 budget. 
  • Its scientific payloads currently include a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a ground-penetrating radar. 
  • SAR is a type of active data collection where a sensor produces its own energy and then records the amount of that energy reflected back after interacting with the Earth.
  • Shukryaan I is India’s first mission to planet Venus.
Additional Information:

About Venus:

Venus, which is the second planet from the sun, is named after the Roman Goddess of love and beauty.

Venus comes at rank 6 in terms of size and mass in the solar system.

Venus is often called "Earth’s twin" because they’re similar in size and structure.

Longer day shorter year:

As Venus rotates very slowly on its axis its one day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days. However the planet orbits the Sun faster than Earth, thus one year on Venus takes only about 225 Earth days.

Hottest Planet:

Venus’ is the hottest planet in our solar system due to its thick atmosphere that traps heat creating a runaway greenhouse effect.

Rotates Backward:

Venus and Uranus are the only planets that rotate backward at their axis which means Sun rises at this planet in the West and sets in the East.

Aims of Shukrayaan I

  • The Venus mission was aimed at studying the Venusian atmosphere, mapping surface topography, using radar to probe the surface, and understanding the Venus-Sun interaction.  
  • Venusian atmosphere includes Venus’s geological and volcanic activity, emissions on the ground, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary characteristics from an elliptical orbit.

Venus missions of other countries:

The U.S. Venus missions named VERITAS and Davinci+ and the European mission named EnVision are planned for 2031 by their respective space agencies.

China might go anytime in 2026 - 2027, whenever they want to go.

Causes of delay in Venus mission ‘Shukrayaan’

  • The original launch of Shukrayaan was scheduled for 2023. However, due to the pandemic, it is pushed the date to December 2024.
  • Optimal launch windows from Earth to Venus occur once every 19 months. This is why ISRO has ‘backup’ launch dates in 2026 and 2028 should it miss the 2024 opportunity.
  • At present, the mission is “waiting for formal approval and money”, which are required before spacecraft assembly and testing. Due to this, the mission is again pushed until 2031.

Other plans of ISRO

  • ISRO is expected to have a busy schedule in 2023 with big-ticket missions such as Chandrayaan-3 (3rd Lunar mission), Aditya-L1(mission to study sun), a host of commercial launches, launches of the new SSLV rocket and major test launches as part of the Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight program. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country helps India in Shukrayaan?

India has been helped by Sweden for a successful Venus mission through various scientific instruments. 

What is the name of the India's first Venus mission?

Shukrayaan I is India’s first Venus mission. The mission is expected to be launched in 2024.

Which country went to Venus first?

NASA's Mariner 2 was the first spacecraft to visit any planet beyond Earth when it flew past Venus on Dec. 14, 1962.

Which Space agency will launch Shukrayaan in 2024?

Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Venus mission called Shukrayaan I is scheduled to be launched in December 2024.

Has India reached Venus?

Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Venus mission called Shukrayaan I which was scheduled to be launched in December 2024 is now expected to be delayed until 2031.

News Source: The Hindu

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