ISRO, also known as Indian Space Research Organization is India’s National Space Agency. It was founded on August 15, 1969.
Currently, ISRO is an emerging space power and has achieved many milestones.
In 2008, ISRO became the first Space agency to discover water on Moon’s surface.
In 2014, ISRO became the first Space agency to reach Mars on the very first attempt and that to at a very low cost.
In 2017, ISRO made history by successfully launching 104 satellites in outer space and placing them in orbit. Despite of a small budget, ISRO went against all odds.
ISRO’s journey has just begun, here is the list of future missions ISRO plans to achieve.
Mission Type: Solar Orbiter
The Aditya-L1 mission will be fixed in a halo orbit around the L1 point, which is about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
The 1,500 kg satellite carries seven science payloads with various goals, comprising but not limited to, the coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, coronal magnetometry, origin and monitoring of near-UV solar radiation, coupling of the solar photosphere to chromosphere and corona, in-situ characterisations of the space environment around Earth by measuring energetic particle fluxes and magnetic fields of the solar wind and solar magnetic storms that have unfavorable impacts on space and ground-based technologies.
Aditya-L1 will be able to deliver observations of Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere and corona.
In addition, an instrument will study the solar energetic particles’ flux reaching the L1 orbit, while a magnetometer payload will calculate the variation in magnetic field strength at the halo orbit around L1.
Mission Type: Lunar Lander and Rover
Chandrayaan-3 will only include a lander and rover. If this mission is successful, it will make India the 4th country to conduct a soft lunar landing after Russia, United States and China.
ISRO’s chief K. Sivan declared that the cost of Chandrayaan-3 would be around ₹615 crore ($86 million).
Mission Type: Crewed Spacecraft
Gaganyaan will be India’s first Human Spaceflight mission.
Gaganyaan is modeled to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be provided with rendezvous and docking ability.
In its maiden crewed mission, ISRO’s largely independent 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 kilometres altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board.
The crewed vehicle is planned to be launched on ISRO‘s GSLV Mk III in 2022.
Mission Type: Venus Orbiter
Based on the accomplishment of Chandrayaan and the Mangalyaan, ISRO has been researching the feasibility of future interplanetary missions to Mars and Venus, the nearest planetary neighbours to Earth.
The mission concept to Venus was first presented at a Tirupati space meet in 2012. The Government of India, in its budget for 2017–18 gave the Department of Space a 23% increase.
Under the space sciences section, the budget mentions provisions “for Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus”, and following the 2017–18 request for grants, it was authorized to complete preliminary studies.
From 2016 to 2017, ISRO worked together with JAXA to explore the Venus atmosphere using signals from the Akatsuki in a radio occultation experiment.
The three broad research areas of interest for this mission incorporate surface/subsurface features and re-surfacing processes; second: study the atmospheric chemistry, dynamics and compositional variations, and third: study the atmospheric interaction with solar radiation and solar wind.
LUNAR POLAR EXPLORATION MISSION
Mission Type: Lunar Lander and Rover
The Lunar Polar Exploration Mission is a robotic lunar mission concept by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that would send a lunar rover and lander to explore the south pole region of the Moon in 2024.
JAXA will provide the under-development H3 launch vehicle and the rover, while ISRO will develop the lander.
In November 2019, ISRO officials announced that a new lunar lander and rover mission was being probed for launch in 2021; this new proposal is called Chandrayaan-3 and it would be performed by ISRO alone as a repeat attempt to demonstrate the landing proficiency needed for the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission proposed in collaboration with Japan in 2024.
Mission Type: Mars Orbiter (Mars Lander and Rover could be added)
Following the triumphant insertion of the Mars Orbiter Mission (also called Mangalyaan) into Martian orbit, ISRO declared its intent to launch a second mission to Mars at the Engineers Conclave conference held in Bengaluru on October 28, 2014.
The proposed launch vehicle for this campaign is the GSLV Mk III, which flew for the first time on June 5, 2017.
The Indian government financed MOM 2 in its 2017 budget proposal, and ISRO is evaluating whether the best path is to execute an orbiter, lander and rover mission or to opt for only an orbiter with more complex instruments than those flown on MOM.
In a podcast recording VSSC director Dr. S. Somanath in October 2019, it was noted the architecture for mission is yet to be finalised and may also have a lander and rover.
JUPITER MISSION (BRIHASPATIYAAN)
Launch: To be decided
Mission Type: To be decided
In 2017, ISRO’s Associate Director M Nageswara Rao stated that ISRO is looking forward to a Jupiter Mission and studying their feasibility.
He also stated that the type of satellite and rocket required for such a mission is being analyzed. Studies on the Jupiter Mission are going on and it may take few years to have a concrete plan.