Aditya-L1: ISRO launches India’s maiden Sun mission from Sriharikota | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Aditya-L1: ISRO launches India’s maiden Sun mission from Sriharikota

Sep 02, 2023 12:58 PM IST

The Aditya-L1 mission, which will mark India’s first mission to study the Sun, will allow India’s scientists to unlock new insights about the centre of our solar system

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday successfully launched India’s first Sun mission, Aditya-L1 on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 11.50am.

ISRO’s PSLV-C57 carrying ‘Aditya-L1’ spacecraft lifts off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, on Saturday (Twitter Photo)
ISRO’s PSLV-C57 carrying ‘Aditya-L1’ spacecraft lifts off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, on Saturday (Twitter Photo)

“From Moon to Sun, Isro is making India proud again. India’s maiden solar mission, Aditya-L1 successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota,” the ministry of science and technology said in a statement after the launch.

This space-based solar probe aims to study solar winds, which can cause disturbance on Earth commonly seen as auroras.

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), the institute that developed the primary payload of the mission, also announced a successful take-off.

“AdityaL1 lifts off beautifully on a clear warm day from Sriharikota, cheered on by the children who have joined us at our campus today!,” IIA wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“Aditya L1 shall be the first space-based Indian mission to study the Sun. The spacecraft shall 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 has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses. This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real-time,” Isro informed on Facebook.

The Aditya-L1 mission, which will mark India’s first mission to study the Sun, will allow India’s scientists to unlock new insights about the centre of our solar system.

The spacecraft is meant to be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the sun-earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. The point will give the craft the advantage of continuous observations, providing uninterrupted data to study the Sun’s corona, its photon release and its environment.

Earlier, the mission was conceived as Aditya-1 with a 400 kg class satellite carrying one payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph VELC, which was to be launched in an 800-km low earth orbit.

However, as mentioned above, since a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the first Lagrangian point (L1) of the Sun-Earth system has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses, the Aditya-1 mission was renamed as Aditya-L1 mission.

A Lagrange Point is a spot in space where the force of gravity of the nearest celestial entities cancels each other out, helping an object remain in equilibrium.

Isro scientists said the instruments of Aditya-L1 are tuned to observe the solar atmosphere, mainly the chromosphere and the corona – the two outermost layers of the star. The instruments will observe the local environment at L1 and carry out remote sensing and observation.

Taking to X, Union minister Nitin Gadkari congratulated Isro scientists for their brilliant achievement.

“A historic achievement in the pursuit of scientific knowledge! ISRO has triumphantly launched its first-ever space mission to study the Sun, #AdityaL1. This remarkable endeavor promises to unlock the secrets of our nearest star, shedding light on its mysteries and enhancing our understanding of space weather. Kudos to the brilliant minds at ISRO who have made this mission possible. Your dedication and expertise continue to inspire us all. Here’s to a bright future of solar exploration and groundbreaking discoveries!” Gadkari wrote on X.

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