India's ISRO Will Attempt to Reach Venus, Mars
India's space agency Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch an attempt for deeper space explorations by starting missions that would target Venus and Mars. ISRO plans to land a rover on Mars by 2021-2022.
Before that, ISRO will launch 104 satellites to space by Feb. 15. The mission to Venus and Mars were mentioned in the agency's budget document this year. The payload of nanosatellites will be launched all at the same time, which will break Russia's record of launching 37 satellites in just a single launch, according to a report.
India's space program will receive a 23 percent increase in its budget approved by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The programs are called "Mars Orbiter Mission II" and Mission to Venus."
Mission to Mars
The first mission to Mars was conducted in 2013 by a pure Indian workforce. However, the new Mars Orbiter Mission II will be launched with the help of France. The French will work with ISRO to build a Mars rover. NASA is also likely to assist India in putting telematics module so that NASA's rover, who is already on Mars, would be able to communicate with ISRO's soon-to-be rover.
The first Mars Orbiter mission was conducted to test the ISRO's technology while the second one is expected to perform full scientific functions.
Mission to Venus
Meanwhile, the mission to Venus would focus on orbiting the planet first.
ISRO deem it necessary to explore Venus since there is very little information known about the planet. NASA and ISRO are likely to collaborate in this Indian maiden mission to Venus.
"India should be part of this global adventure and exploring Venus and Mars are very worthwhile since humans definitely need another habitation beyond Earth," K. Kasturirangan, former ISRO chairman, said in a statement.
While some believe that ISRO's nanosatellites and other test missions contribute to space junk, a scientist from the Global Security Program said that responsible launches are beneficial to everyone.