Much to the delight of planetary scientists from around the world, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to send its first-ever Venus orbiter to our sister planet in just a few short years. And what’s even more exciting is the space agency recently invited other countries to join in on the fun. 

On November 6, the ISRO published an Announcement of Opportunity regarding their planned mission to Venus, which is tentatively scheduled for launch in mid-2023. In the announcement, the space agency encouraged international scientists to submit proposals for experiments and instruments that could potentially tag along to Venus aboard the Indian orbiter.

Ignoring Our Nearest Neighbor

Despite being the closest planet to Earth, it’s been nearly 30 years since NASA has specifically targeted Venus with a spacecraft. And since then, only a handful of other international missions have ventured to the hellish planet. This is somewhat surprising, especially when you consider that, at about 4.5 billion years old, Venus is roughly the same age, mass, and size as Earth.

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