Venus Orbiter Mission
Mission typeVenus orbiter[1]
Mission durationPlanned: 4 years[2]
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass2,500 kg (5,500 lb)[3]
Payload mass~100 kg (220 lb)[1]
Power500 watts (0.67 hp) for payload[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateNET 2028 (planned) [4]
Launch siteSDSC SHAR
Venus orbiter
Venus atmospheric probe
Spacecraft componentAerobot balloon[3][5]

The Venus Orbiter Mission, unofficially known as Shukrayaan (from Sanskrit: Shukra, "Venus" and yāna, "craft, vehicle"),[6] is a planned Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus.[7][8][9][10]

Funds were released in 2017 to complete preliminary studies, and solicitations for instruments were announced.[11][12] The orbiter was expected to have a science payload capability of approximately 100 kilograms (220 lb) with 500 W available power.[1] The initial elliptical orbit around Venus is expected to be 500 km (310 mi) at periapsis & 60,000 km (37,000 mi) at apoapsis.[1][13]


The three broad research areas of interest for this mission include surface/subsurface stratigraphy and re-surfacing processes; studying the atmospheric chemistry, dynamics and compositional variations, and studying solar irradiance and solar wind interaction with Venus' ionosphere.[1] The mission may carry out research on Venus' active volcanic hotspots, lava flows and their patterns.[14] The probe may reexamine claims of phosphine on Venus,[14] as the findings are currently thought to be in error.[15]


Based on the success of Chandrayaan and the Mars Orbiter Mission, ISRO began studying the feasibility of interplanetary missions to Mars and Venus. A mission to Venus was first presented at a Tirupati space meet in 2012.[16] ISRO was authorized to complete preliminary studies.[17][18] From 2016 to 2017, ISRO collaborated with JAXA to study the Venus atmosphere using signals from the Akatsuki in a radio occultation experiment.[19][20][21]

In 2017, ISRO made an 'Announcement of Opportunity' (AO) seeking science payload proposals from Indian academia.[1] In 2018, ISRO made another 'Announcement of Opportunity' inviting payload proposals from the international scientific community. The available science payload capacity with a science payload of 100 kg.[22][23]

ISRO and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) held collaboration discussions in 2018, including the Venus mission and autonomous navigation and aerobraking technologies.[24] French astrophysicist Jacques Blamont expressed interest to ISRO chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao to use balloons to help study the Venusian atmosphere. Similar to the Vega missions, these instrumented balloons could be deployed from an orbiter and take prolonged observations while floating in the planet's relatively mild upper atmosphere.[16][25] ISRO agreed to consider the proposal to use a balloon probe carrying a 10 kilograms (22 lb) payload to study the Venusian atmosphere at a 55 kilometres (34 mi) altitude.[3][26]

As of late 2018, the Venus mission was in the configuration study phase and ISRO had not sought the Indian government's full approval.[27] Somak Raychaudhury, the director of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), stated in 2019 that a drone-like probe was being considered.[5]

As of November 2020, ISRO had shortlisted 20 international proposals that include collaboration with institutions from Russia, France, Sweden and Germany.[28] Mission could be launched no earlier than 2028, with an alternate Launch window in 2031.[29][30][4]

S. Somanath, the chairman of ISRO, stated that engineers are aiming to lower the cost of some high-value components and that India's maiden mission to Venus is probably going to launch in 2028 while speaking with reporters during India International Science Festival 2024. Venus Orbiter Mission development, however, will take longer than expected because Gaganyaan project has taken precedence.[31][32]

Science payload

The 100 kg (220 lb) science payload would consist of instruments from India and other countries. As of December 2019, 16 Indian and 7 international payloads had been shortlisted.[33][5][34]

Indian instruments

* RAVI and VISWAS are being proposed as collaborations with Germany and Sweden.[22][33]

International instruments

Two Russian payloads by the Russian Space Research Institute and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology were shortlisted to study the atmosphere:[41][33]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for Space Based Experiments to Study Venus". 19 April 2017. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Mehta, Jatan (19 November 2020). "India's Shukrayaan orbiter to study Venus for over four years, launches in 2024". SpaceNews. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Bagla, Pallava (21 November 2018). "India seeks collaborators for a mission to Venus, the neglected planet". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aaw1484. S2CID 134327421. Astrophysicist Jacques Blamont, a former head of France's National Center for Space Studies in Paris, several years ago proposed producing metallic balloons that could dip in and out of Venus's hot atmosphere to study its chemistry. ISRO has adopted that idea, says Sivan, but will develop the balloon in-house. It will carry 10 kilograms of instruments and float down to 55 kilometers above the surface.
  4. ^ a b "ISRO discussing possible mission to moon with Japanese agency: S Somanath". The Economic Times. 22 March 2023. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 16 January 2024. Somanath also said there is a good opportunity to launch a mission to explore planet Venus by 2028.
  5. ^ a b c "5 Missions in 5 yrs to study Solar System, Black holes". Deccan Herald. 19 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Indian Mars and Venus missions: Science and exploration" (PDF). 22 July 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 November 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  7. ^ Ranosa, Ted (July 2015). "India Plans Mission To Venus Following Success Of Mars Orbiter". Tech Times. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  8. ^ Nowakowski, Tomasz (July 2015). "India eyes possible mission to Venus". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Isro to undertake the heaviest launch in December". 23 July 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  10. ^ Spaceflight, Meghan Bartels 2019-11-08T14:00:15Z (8 November 2019). "India Has a New Planetary Target in Mind: Venus". Retrieved 9 November 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Annadurai, Mylswami. "ISRO Space Physics: future missions" (PDF). Raman Research Institute.
  12. ^ India eyes a return to Mars and a first run at Venus. Pallava Bagla, Science Magazine. 17 February 2017.
  13. ^ Laxman, Srinivas (24 April 2017). "Venus mission: Isro invites proposals for space experiments". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 October 2017. An Isro official told TOI that though it is an approved mission, the date of the launch is yet to be firmed up.
  14. ^ a b Sharma, Anurakti (2 June 2022). "10 interesting things to know about ISRO's mission to Venus – 'Shukrayaan-I'". TimesNow. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  15. ^ Snellen, I. A. G.; Guzman-Ramirez, L.; Hogerheijde, M. R.; Hygate, A. P. S.; van der Tak, F. F. S. (1 December 2020). "Re-analysis of the 267 GHz ALMA observations of Venus: No statistically significant detection of phosphine". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 644: L2. arXiv:2010.09761. Bibcode:2020A&A...644L...2S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039717. ISSN 0004-6361. S2CID 224803085.
  16. ^ a b India planning Venus mission. Srinivas Laxman, The Times of India. 17 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Demands for Grants, 2017–2018. India's Department of Space" (PDF). Deparment [sic] of Space - Demand No. 91. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2017.
  18. ^ "India eyes a return to Mars and a first run at Venus". 17 February 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Department of Space, Annual Report 2016-17" (PDF). 22 February 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2018. Both agencies have also agreed to conduct a joint experiment to study Venus atmosphere by collecting signals from JAXA's Akatsuki mission by ISRO's ground stations (IDSN).
  20. ^ "Initial results of the radio occultation experiment in the Venus orbiter mission Akatsuki" (PDF). 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  21. ^ Imamura, Takeshi; et al. (3 October 2017). "Initial performance of the radio occultation experiment in the Venus orbiter mission Akatsuki". Earth, Planets and Space. 69 (1): 137. Bibcode:2017EP&S...69..137I. doi:10.1186/s40623-017-0722-3. hdl:20.500.14094/90004975.
  22. ^ a b "Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to international science community for Space-Based Experiments to Study Venus" (PDF). 6 November 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2018.
  23. ^ ISRO invites foreign 'riders' to Venus. Madhumathi D.S., The Hindu. 11 November 2018.
  24. ^ ISRO to work with its French counterpart for inter-planetary missions to Mars, Venus. India Times 16 April 2018.
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  26. ^ "India-France Joint Vision for Space Cooperation (New Delhi, 10 March 2018)". Retrieved 21 November 2018. 3.6 Exploring the solar system and beyond: ISRO and CNES would work together on (i) autonomous navigation of rovers in Moon, Mars and other planets; (ii) aero braking technologies for planetary exploration; (iii) modeling of Mars and Venus atmosphere; and (iv) inflatable systems for Venus exploration. Both sides can embark on complex high technology space science and planetary exploration missions in future.
  27. ^ Narasimhan, T. E. (18 December 2018). "Isro to go to Venus by 2023 after Mars success, human spaceflight plans". Business Standard India. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  28. ^ "ISRO's Shukrayaan: India's proposed Venus mission attracts international payload proposals". The Financial Express. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  29. ^ Singh, Surendra (5 May 2022). "Isro to join race to Venus, eyes 2024 orbiter launch". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  30. ^ Mukunth, Vasudevan (16 January 2023). "ISRO pushing Venus mission 'Shukrayaan' to 2031?". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  31. ^ "India Working Towards Building Own Space Station, Tests Next Year, Says ISRO Chief". Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  32. ^ "First tests for Indian Space Station expected next year: ISRO chief". Hindustan Times. 18 January 2024. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  33. ^ a b c Shaji, Nigar (11 June 2019). "Venus Orbiter Mission to study surface, atmosphere and plasma environment" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  34. ^ Jatiya, Satyanarayan (18 July 2019). "Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 2955" (PDF). Retrieved 30 April 2023.
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  39. ^ Vipin K Yadav (2023). "VIPER:A Plasma Wave Detection Instrument onboard Indian Venus Orbiter Spacecraft". arXiv:2301.03163 [physics.plasm-ph].
  40. ^ NASA may provide ISRO terahertz devices for its proposed orbiter to Venus Archived 23 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine. Web India 123. 30 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Российские научные приборы установят на индийский орбитальный аппарат". РИА Новости (in Russian). 4 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
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  43. ^ "France-India Space Cooperation - Focus on Climate Science and Space Exploration". 30 September 2020. Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.