HomeScience & TechAditya L1: India's Pioneering Mission to Study the Sun Achieves Milestones

Aditya L1: India’s Pioneering Mission to Study the Sun Achieves Milestones

In a triumphant step towards understanding the Sun’s mysteries, India’s Aditya L1 spacecraft, the nation’s first space-based solar observatory, has completed its third successful earth-bound manoeuvre. This milestone, conducted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), marks another achievement in India’s ambitious space program.

The third Earth-bound manoeuvre (EBN#3) was flawlessly executed by ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC) based in Bengaluru. During the operation, ISRO’s ground stations in Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR, and Port Blair closely monitored the spacecraft.

The result of this operation is a new orbit measuring 296 km x 71,767 km. ISRO announced that the next manoeuvre is scheduled for September 15th, around 2 am.

Aditya-L1, the first Indian space-based observatory dedicated to studying the Sun, will orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1), approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. The first two earth-bound manoeuvres were successfully conducted on September 3rd and 5th.

These orbital adjustments are essential during the spacecraft’s 16-day journey around Earth, enabling it to attain the necessary velocity for its voyage to L1.

Aditya-L1 was launched on September 2nd, aboard ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C57) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

This pioneering observatory will provide continuous, unobstructed views of the Sun from its L1 vantage point, offering real-time observations of solar activities and their impact on space weather. Aditya-L1 carries seven scientific payloads developed by ISRO and national research laboratories, including the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune.

These payloads will scrutinize the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and the corona, employing electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors. By studying the Sun from L1, four payloads will observe it directly, while the remaining three will perform in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1, providing critical data on solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

Aditya L1’s scientific instruments are poised to yield essential information for understanding coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities, space weather dynamics, and the propagation of particles and fields.

Lagrangian points, where Aditya-L1 will orbit, are unique locations where the gravitational forces of two large bodies—the Sun and Earth—balance the centripetal force needed for a small object to remain stationary. These points in space offer significant advantages, such as reduced fuel consumption, for spacecraft, making them ideal locations for scientific observations and missions.

India’s Aditya L1 mission represents a significant leap forward in space research, promising a wealth of insights into the Sun’s dynamics and its influence on Earth’s environment.

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