- India and America are together planning to explore the last unknown frontier under the Indo-US deep space exploration mission.
- India had successful inter-planetary missions, the most recent being Mangalyaan that reached the Martian orbit in 2014 and continues to operate with vigour sending back scientific data to India.
- The Mars Orbiter Mission or (MOM) was launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- Venus, Mars, and an asteroid all could be the next big destinations that India will be exploring and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now embarking on a new planet-hunting endeavour and planned another robust mission to planet Mars.
- A small satellite aptly called `Aditya’ will keep a constant eye on the ever-changing moods of the Sun.
- If Pluto was the target for the American space agency through its mission `New Horizons’, the Indian space agency is also setting its goals to explore the Solar System to its limits.
- Venus is considered a twin of Earth and is almost the same size that of Earth but it has a hugely dense atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide and being closer to the Sun it has an average temperature of 460 degrees Celsius.
- U R Rao, former chairperson of ISRO and head of the committee that decides on scientific missions has long expressed a desire that India should ideally soon head to Venus.
- For the future planetary mission, Kumar says India’s indigenously made Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-II (GSLV Mk-II) is probably going to be the preferred vehicle as it has `superior capabilities’.
- India already has a second visit to the Moon planned for 2018 through Chandrayaan-2 that will include an orbiter, lander and a rover on the lunar surface. This Rs 500 crore mission is already being put together in Bengaluru and it will be launched using the GSLV Mk-II.
- Beyond Chandrayaan-2 ISRO seeks to plan for `lunar sample return missions from the polar region of moon and a possible establishment of lunar observatory’.
- ISRO in its plans also lists a remote sensing asteroid orbiter and comet flyby.