India’s first mission to study the Sun getting ready for launch: ISRO

The Aditya L1 spacecraft, assembled and integrated at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru, has arrived at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota

Updated - August 14, 2023 06:52 pm IST

Published - August 14, 2023 10:36 am IST - Bengaluru

Aditya-L1 will be the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun.

Aditya-L1 will be the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun.

Amidst all the excitement surrounding Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for another launch — a mission to study the Sun.

Aditya-L1 would be the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun.

According to the ISRO, the spacecraft was assembled and integrated at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru and delivered to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota reportedly on August 14, 2023.

According to the ISRO, the spacecraft will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point enjoys the major advantage of having a continuous view of the Sun without any occultation/eclipses. This will enhance the observation of solar activity and its effect on space weather in real time.

The spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic, and particle and magnetic field detectors.

From the special vantage point L1, four payloads would directly view the Sun. The other three payloads are to carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point (L1), providing important scientific information of the propagational effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

Aditya L1’s payloads are expected to provide crucial information for understanding the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics, the dynamics of space weather, and the propagation of particles and fields.

The Aditya L1 mission will be launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which also launched Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and the Mars Orbiter spacecraft in 2013.

The launch is likely to take place in August-end or September.

After the successful launch of the PSLV-C56 mission on July 30, ISRO chairman S. Somanath had said, “We are coming back with another PSLV mission soon... in August or early September.”

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