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After Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), ISRO eyes inter-planetary missions to Jupiter and Venus

After Moon and Mars, ISRO plans to spread its reach to Jupiter and Venus.

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A satellite, (representational Image), Pixabay
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Bangalore, Jan 4, 2017: After its successful and internationally acclaimed  Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM), ISRO is eyeing inter-planetary missions to Jupiter and Venus and is studying and analysing their feasibility.

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“We are looking at other planets that can be explored. So, two of them are Jupiter and Venus. The mission analysis is on what type of satellite we are supposed to build and what type of rocket we need.”

“Studies are going on and it may take few years from now to have a concrete plan,” M Nageswara Rao, Associate Director, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated at a plenary session on science technology at the Indian Science Congress.

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He added that the oppertunity of launching a satellite to Venus comes once in 19 months, considering the distance between the planets and earth’s position.

Venus, second in order from the Sun, is nearly 162 million miles away from Earth while Jupiter, which lies between Mars and Saturn, is nearly 610 million miles away from Earth.

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Rao mentioned that a follow-up mission for Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) is also being planned.

“We want to have a follow-up Mars Mission and we want to have a mission to Venus. We want to go close, 70,000 km close (to Mars). Work for Chandrayaan 2 is also on. The project involves having a lander and a rover,” he stated.

So for the first time, ISRO can have its lander land on the moon, which will give the space agency minute details of the earth’s natural satellite. Earlier programmed as a joint collaboration with Russia, ISRO has now decided to go solo on this project.

Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to be launched next year.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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Jupiter’s Moon, Europa Covered In Thick Snow: NASA

NASA plans to launch a mission called Europa Clipper in the 2020s.

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Jupiter, Europa, NASA
Ice blades cover Jupiter's moon Europa: Study. Pixabay

Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa is probably covered with blades of ice up to 15 meters tall in its equatorial regions, making alien life search difficult, NASA researchers have found.

The potentially life-supporting Europa has been studied by NASA, whose work has become more difficult due to the ice towers, Xinhua news agency reported.

Europa, Jupiter, NASA
Europa (Moon) · Artist’s concept of Europa and Jupiter , NASA

“Clearly, the paper suggests very strongly that the tropics of Europa are going to be spiky, and it would be unwise to plan to land there without a specially adapted lander,” said Dan Hobley, lead author of the study and a lecturer in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University.

Jagged ice towers could also be found on Earth, especially in high, dry and cold tropical regions like the Chilean Andes. These ice towers are named “penitentes”, Spanish for “penitent”, because they often look like people kneeling in penance.

Scientists found that penitentes on Europa could be up to 15 meters tall, spaced about seven meters apart, while on Earth their height usually ranges from one to five meters.

Europa, Jupiter, NASA
These ice towers are named “penitentes”, Spanish for “penitent. IANS

 

“The Europa penitentes grow much slower than the Earth examples, but on Earth they might be restricted to a season or maybe two until they melt in summer or get covered in more snow, but on Europa, they are sat out in the sun growing for 50 million years,” Hobley explained.

Also Read: A Dozen New Moons Found Orbiting Jupiter

NASA plans to launch a mission called Europa Clipper in the 2020s.

At a cost of $2 billion, the mission will “perform repeated close flybys of the icy moon from a long, looping orbit around Jupiter”, assess the possible landing site on Europa and try to seek out signs of life on the moon. (IANS)