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Updated January 1st, 2024 at 12:57 IST

From Mangalyaan-2 to Shukrayaan: 5 major missions ISRO has in store for 2024

ISRO began 2024 successfully with the XPoSat launch and plans 12 launches, including 5 major missions like NISAR, INSAT 3DS, Gaganyaan, and others.

Digital Desk
In the span of 12 months (in 2024), we aim for a minimum of 12 missions as our target: ISRO Chief
In the span of 12 months (in 2024), we aim for a minimum of 12 missions as our target: ISRO Chief | Image:Republic / ISRO
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The Indian space agency, ISRO, initiated 2024 with a significant success by launching the XPoSat satellite on January 1, aiming to study the nature of black holes and making India the second country to achieve this feat. However, they are not halting their endeavours, following a ‘stellar’ year in 2023 with successes such as Chandrayaan and Aditya L1, among an array of others. ISRO is now anticipating even greater accomplishments in 2024.

ISRO aims for 12-14 launches this year, contingent on certain factors not working against them: ISRO Chief 

S Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO, has expressed that ISRO aims for at least 12 missions in 2024, stating, "In the span of 12 months (in 2024), we aim for a minimum of 12 missions as our target. This number may exceed based on our ability to produce hardware, complete testing, and if operations progress smoothly. However, if progress faces challenges, it could potentially impact the mission count." He mentioned that the count of missions is subject to change depending on production speed, completion of testing, and overall operational smoothness. They are gearing up for a range of ‘12 to 14’ missions.

ISRO Chairman S Somnath. | Image: PTI

ISRO has outlined several major launches and missions for 2024:

1. NISAR: The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) is a collaborative project set to launch a specialised radar satellite in January 2024. This satellite will utilise radar technology to map the entire Earth every 12 days, providing valuable data on the environment, ice, vegetation, sea level rise, subterranean water, and natural hazards like earthquakes and volcanoes.

Artist’s impression of NISAR in orbit. | Image: ISRO

2. INSAT 3DS: The INSAT 3DS, a crucial component of India's INSAT satellite series developed by ISRO, is tentatively scheduled for launch in January 2024. This satellite aims to monitor weather patterns, aid in disaster management, and enhance weather forecasting. INSAT-3DS will be launched using GSLV-MK-II.

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INSAT 3DS. | Image ISRO

3. Gaganyaan 1: The first Gaganyaan mission, a collaborative effort between ISRO and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), is set for a potential launch in January or February 2024. This mission is pivotal for India's Human Spaceflight Program, serving as a test flight capable of carrying three crew members. Its objective is to prepare India for crewed space missions.

4. Mangalyaan-2 (MOM 2): ISRO's second mission to Mars aims to study the planet's surface, atmosphere, and weather. Equipped with specialized cameras and instruments, the probe will include a hyperspectral camera to analyse Mars' surface composition, a magnetometer to study its magnetic field, and radar to map its surface.

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Visual representation of MOM 2 probe. | Image: ISRO

5. Shukrayaan-1: This upcoming mission is dedicated to Venus. ISRO plans to send a spacecraft to study Venus's atmosphere, marking India's first attempt at a Venus mission. Scheduled for December 2024 or early 2025, the spacecraft is expected to orbit Venus for five years.

A concept image of ‘Akatsuki’ preparing to enter orbit around Venus. | Image: Jaxa

 

ISRO is preparing for a busy and promising year ahead with these missions, aiming for significant advancements in space exploration to deepen our understanding of the universe. The XPoSat, launched today, is designed to observe X-rays from space, particularly emanating from celestial bodies like black holes. The launch took place at around 9:10 am using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C58 (PSLV) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The objective was to position the satellite into a low inclination orbit towards the East, a feat ISRO achieved with ease.

 

 

 

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Published January 1st, 2024 at 12:57 IST

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