Will ISRO ever conduct asteroid project like NASA's Psyche mission? Know what its chief said | Tech News

Will ISRO ever conduct asteroid project like NASA's Psyche mission? Know what its chief said

NASA successfully launched an asteroid exploration project called the Psyche mission. Will ISRO ever launch a similar asteroid mission? Know what the ISRO chief S Somanath said.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Nov 24 2023, 23:07 IST
Asteroid
NASA is conducting an asteroid exploration project called Psyche mission. Know what ISRO chief Somanath says about India undertaking such a mission. (Pixabay)
Asteroid
NASA is conducting an asteroid exploration project called Psyche mission. Know what ISRO chief Somanath says about India undertaking such a mission. (Pixabay)

NASA on October 13, launched the Psyche mission from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The asteroid mission took flight on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The Psyche mission objectives include the study of the metal-rich asteroid named Psyche. It is an asteroid exploration project which aims to study Psyche asteroid's core, surface, relative ages of regions, and more. The mission has excited the scientific community and the public globally. So, will India ever undertake such an asteroid mission? Know what ISRO scientists Sreedhar Somanath said.

Will ISRO conduct an asteroid exploration projects like NASA's Psyche mission?

Businessline quoted ISRO's present chief Sreedhar Somanath on the subject. When asked if ISRO has plans to conduct an asteroid mining mission, he said, “It is far away, it needs space robotics of high level, mission management and ground infrastructure expansion, many trial missions for sample returns, for validation.”

Furthermore, an astrochemist named Dr Chaitanya Giri from FLAME University, Pune who was also a part of European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko said that if India can land on the Moon then we may also land on an asteroid, "Not so simple" he said. Giri places emphasis on studying near-earth asteroids such as Eros, Itokawa, Bennu, Ryugy. “Rendezvous is one thing, sample return is another and commercial mining is yet another,” said Giri.

Also read: What is Psyche Mission? Know all about NASA's journey to a $10 quintillion 279-km wide asteroid

As the successful Chandrayaan-3 mission and the Aditya-L1 mission prove, India has gone from strength to strength in terms of space exploration and, ISRO has built a huge talent pool of scientists, and therefore, an asteroid mission happening is just a question of when and not if.

About NASA Psyche mission

During the mission, NASA will be studying the asteroid called 16 Psyche which is currently orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. It is reported that it is three times farther from the Sun compared to Earth. The asteroid is called metal-rich as it consists of gold, silver and nickel deposits. The spacecraft is expected to reach the asteroid's orbit in 2029.

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First Published Date: 24 Nov, 23:07 IST
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