ISRO planning 7 interplanetary missions in a decade: Chairman Dr Sivan 

ISRO Chairman K Sivan. Photograph:( Twitter )

AFP Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India May 17, 2019, 11.27 PM (IST) Sidharth MP

Chandrayaan 2, India’s Lunar Mission which will feature India’s most powerful rocket the GSLV Mk 3 to carry the orbiter, lander and rover, is the much-anticipated project of this year. But India's space agency ISRO has much more in store than the widely known Chandrayaan and Gaganyaan manned missions. 

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Yuvika - Young Scientist Programme for school students at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Dr KD Sivan, chairman of ISRO said, the agency is in the final stage of testing for the orbiter, lander, rover and that they would be ready for launch by the end of May. 

However, the launch will likely be in the first or the second week of July due to an impending eclipse and other conditions, said the Dr Sivan. 

"This is a very important mission because we are landing at a place where nobody else has gone, near the South Pole of the moon, and new sciences could emerge from this mission," Dr Sivan added.

Elaborating on the 13 payloads that the Chandrayaan-2 Mission would be carrying, he said, "basically these payloads are looking at the composition of the atmosphere, the surface, mapping, sub-surface structure, lunar surface composition et cetera.”

Responding to queries regarding some of the major missions that the agency is working on, he said, they are working on seven interplanetary missions in a decade. The missions would include Mars Orbiter Mission 2, Chandrayaan 3, a mission to Venus, exposat planetary exploration and Aditya L1 among others. 

"There is a lot of interest in planet Venus and we have announced a lot of opportunities for the scientific community in India and abroad. Around 20 payloads are coming", Dr Sivan said. 

He also made a mention of Mission Aditya L1 that could be launched in mid-2020 to study the Corona of the Sun, adding that it would help in understanding climate change. 

While Aditya L1 and exposat mission are defined and cleared, the Mars Orbiter 2 and Chandrayaan 3 are in their planning stages. "After planning, it will be formed as a project and we will lead it," he said.