India Now Aims for the Sun for Solar Research
Last updated on August 28th, 2023 at 12:28 pm
Riding high on the success of Chandrayaan-3 soft landing near the Moon’s south pole, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has set their eyes on the sun. The Aditya-L1, India’s first space observatory for solar research, is set for launch.
This spacecraft is designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona and study the solar atmosphere. ISRO chairman S. Somanath said they are planning to launch in the first week of September. Aditya-L1 aims to study solar winds, which can cause disturbance on Earth and are commonly seen as auroras.
The ISRO wants to place the spacecraft, Aditya-L1, in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system which is about 1.5 million km from Earth. It said a satellite placed in the halo orbit has the advantage of 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. the spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromospheres and the outermost layers of the sun using electromagnetic and particle, and magnetic field detectors.”
Somanath said the Aditya-L1 will hitch a ride on India’s heavy-duty launch vehicle, the PSLV, to travel 1.5 million km. It will take around 125 days from the Earth to reach the Lagrange point 1 (L1). The chairman explained that the Aditya-L1 will head to a kind of parking lot in space where objects tend to stay put because of balancing gravitational forces, reducing fuel consumption for the spacecraft.”
This mission has a budget of $46 million, which was sanctioned by the government in 2019. The ISRO will launch the Aditya-L1 mission from Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR, Sriharikota. This will be a fully indigenous effort, with participation of national institutions.