SPACE | ISRO
With missions planned to explore not just the neighbouring planets of the Earth or its natural satellite but also the centre of our solar system, the sun as well as a space station and much more, ISRO’s space expedition knows no end.
Further on from here, ISRO aims to conduct more advanced and challenging missions and explore the deepest space secrets. ISRO has also been critical in giving the nation a strong global stance.
Some of the exciting missions and journey that ISRO will be apparently taking up in the near future, include:
NISAR: The first satellite with a dual-frequency radar imaging system, NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) is likely to be one of the most expensive Earth-observation satellite ever constructed. To be launched on a GSLA Mk II rocket, NISAR is planned for a 2021 launch and be positioned in a Sunsynchronous orbit to provide constant power to its solar panels.
ADITYA: ISRO is also supposed to be planning India’s first dedicated scientific mission. Aditya-1, to study the centre of our solar system, the Sun. Expected for a 2020 launch onboard a PSLV-XL rocket, the mission will examine the surface of the Sun and its atmosphere, positioned in the first Lagrangian point (L1) between the Sun and Earth, where the dynamic gravitational attraction between both these astronomical bodies roughly cancels out. A class space telescope weighing 400 kg is expected to be inserted into a halo orbit 1.5 million km from the Earth to study the three layers of the sun — photosphere, chromosphere and corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun.
GAGANYAAN: In 2021, India’s is planning to conduct its first human space flight mission where three Indian astronauts shall fly into space. The Gaganyaan mission comes about four decades after Rakesh Sharma made his debut journey in 1984 in a Russian rocket. For Gaganyaan as well, the Russian are aiding India in making the spacesuits and in training the astronauts about living in a space capsule for the week-long mission. A Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-3, an upgraded version of the rocket that launched the Chandrayaan-2 mission will fly the astronauts to space. The astronauts will be chosen from among the fighter pilots selected from the Indian Air Force. In his Independence Day speech on August 15, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced of India’s first Human Space flight, Gaganyaan as an important milestone in the Indian Space Programme.
X-RAY POLARIMETER SATELLITE: Being built to measure the degree and direction of X-Ray photons from as many as 50 potential celestial sources, the X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite is expected to be launched in the year 2021 in the circular lower Earth orbit around 500-7—km above the Earth. The instruments to be built by the Raman Research Institute shall comprise the satellite and gather data to aid in understanding the composition, density, and temperature of distant celestial instruments.
MISSION VENUS: The Indian Space agency also has a mission to the “twin sister” of our home planet on its cards by 2023. The Earth shares similarities to its neighbor planet, Venus, when it comes to size, mass, density, bulk composition, and gravity. ISRO plans to fly a spacecraft around 400km over Venus to carry out research and understand the formation and atmosphere of the planet as well as its engagement with the solar wind.
ANOTHER MOON MISSION: Even when the hopes to explore the moon’s South Polar Region seems to have been lost with Chandrayaan-2, ISRO will not give up on Earth’s natural satellite and might return to it as early as a year or two. ISRO is also reportedly planning a joint mission to the lunar South Pole with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency by 2023. The mission plans to land a rover and carry out scientific experiments on the surface and explore the existence of water. ISRO is likely to build a lander for the mission, while JAPAN is likely to supply the rocket and the rover.
MANGALYAAN-2: With the successful accomplishment of ISRO’s first mission to the mars through Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan, a follow-up mission to the red planet is expected to come through by 2024. It has been five years since Mangalyaan has been going around Mars and has been providing some significant images and information about the planet as well as its moons. With Mangalyaan-2, the space agency aims to explore and examine Mars deeply and develop a better understanding of the red planet’s evolution.
ASTROSAT-2: Launched in 2015, ASTROSAT was India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory, with the mission to endeavor for a more detailed understanding of the universe. ASTROSAT uniquely enables the simultaneous multiwavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite. It has been observing the universe in the optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. ISRO is now reportedly planning for a second such observatory in space with the ASTROSAT-2 by 2025.
SPACE STATION: Among the most ambitious of its plan, ISRO is planning to set up its own space station in the coming few years, probably around 2025 which will help astronauts to stay in space for a longer duration and carry out more substantial experiments. ISRO chief, Dr. K. Sivan demonstrated the space station as an extension to the Gaganyaan mission. The station would be a small module to conduct microgravity experiments, the chief had informed earlier.
With some of the above mentioned and many more constant experiments in store for the future, ISRO is sure to continue space applications programmes including disaster management support and outreach through Direct-To-Home television, and space expedition to showcase the increasing role played by the Indian space systems in providing direct benefits to the society.