ISRO shares Aditya-L1 solar mission details
What is Aditya-L1? It is a satellite dedicated to the comprehensive study of the Sun. The Aidtya-L1 comprises seven distinct indigenously developed payloads. Here's all you need to know about the country's first solar mission.
Aim for the stars! All eyes are on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the country's national space agency, as it gears up to launch its next space venture, a mission to study the Sun. The much-awaited launch of the Aditya-L1 solar mission, scheduled on Saturday, September 2, comes days after the country created history with the successful landing of its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the south pole of the Moon, the planet's only natural satellite.
ISRO initiated a countdown, spanning 23 hours and 10 minutes, on Friday leading to the launch of a PSLV rocket carrying the Aditya-L1 mission.
Ahead of the much-anticipated launch, scheduled to take place from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 11:50 am, ISRO has released a few important details about the mission.
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Here are 10 facts to know about the Aditya-L1 solar mission:
1. What is Aditya-L1? It is a satellite dedicated to the comprehensive study of the Sun.
2. The Aditya-L1 artificial satellite will stay at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth, directed towards the Sun. This is about one percent of the total distance between the two celestial bodies.
3. The Aditya-L1 has seven distinct indigenously developed payloads, five by ISRO and two by Indian academic institutes in collaboration with ISRO.
4. What does Aditya-L1 mean? In Sanskrit, the word Aditya means the Sun. L1 stands for 'Lagrange Point 1', which is a location in space where the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun are in equilibrium. It is this state of equilibrium that allows any object placed there to remain relatively stable with respect to both celestial bodies. In other words, L1 is a balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun.
5. Why L1? The strategic placement at this location will ensure that the satellite maintains a constant and uninterrupted view of the Sun. The location will also allow the Aditya to access the solar radiation and magnetic storms before the influence of the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.
6. What happens after the launch? After the launch, the Aditya-L1 satellite will stay in Earth-bound orbits for 16 days. It is during this period that it will undergo five maneuvers to gain the necessary velocity for its journey.
7. Subsequently, it will undergo a Trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuvre, marking the beginning of its 110-days-long trajectory to the destination around L1.
8. What next? Once the satellite reaches the L1 point, another maneuver will bind Aditya-L1 to an orbit around L1.
9. Will the satellite reach the surface of the Sun? No. The Aditya-L1 mission will study the outer atmosphere of the star. It will neither land on the Sun nor get any closer to the star.
10. Will the Aditya-L1 return to Earth? No. The satellite is meant to spend its whole mission life orbiting around L1 in an irregularly shaped orbit in a plane roughly perpendicular to the line joining the Earth and the Sun.