India launches its first mission to study Sun

NEW DELHI | Updated: 02 September, 2023 12:41 pm IST
Aditya-L1 is not just an interesting space mission undertaken by ISRO but also a possible game-changer in space & tech

NEW DELHI: India launched its first mission to study the Sun onboard Vikas-engine powered PSLV from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, 10 days after it successfully sent a mission to the moon.

Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Aditya L1 follows similar missions by space agencies of Europe, the United States, Japan, and China.

This mission is set to be an absolute game-changer in the world of studies of ‘Aditya’ — the Sanskrit word for ‘Sun’.

Unlike the Chandrayaan-3 mission where the lander, Vikram, was set to land on the moon, Aditya-L1 is a satellite that will not land on the Sun and instead will be placed at a safe distance.

This screen grab by ISRO explains where India’s satellite Aditya will be placed during the course of study of the Sun. (Source: ISRO Graphic On Twitter)

The satellite is packed with seven indigenously-developed payloads, five of which have been developed by ISRO while the other two have been developed by academic institutes.

The L1 in the name refers to the Lagrange Point where the gravitational points of Earth-Sun remain in equilibrium. The satellite will orbit the Lagrange Point through its entire mission life after completing five maneuvres in the Earth’s orbit for 16 days till it gains the necessary velocity to set out for its journey.

Aditya-L1 will stay approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, pointed towards the Sun, which is one per cent of the two celestial bodies’ distance.

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