Sat. Sep 30th, 2023
India’s First Solar Mission, Aditya L1, Successfully Performs Third Earth-bound Manoeuvre

India’s first solar mission, Aditya L1, has successfully performed its third earth-bound manoeuvre, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The manoeuvre, known as EBN#3, was performed from ISTRAC in Bengaluru, with ISRO’s ground stations in Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR, and Port Blair tracking the satellite during the operation. The new orbit achieved is 296 km x 71767 km. The next manoeuvre, EBN#4, is scheduled for September 15, 2023, around 02:00 Hrs. IST.

Aditya L1 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on September 2, following the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the South pole of the moon. The mission aims to study the Sun and will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), which is 1.5 million km away from Earth in the direction of the sun. It will carry seven different payloads, four of which will observe the light from the Sun, while the other three will measure in-situ parameters of the plasma and magnetic fields.

By being placed in such a strategic location, Aditya L1 will have uninterrupted observations of the sun, allowing scientists to study solar activities and their impact on space weather in real-time. It will provide valuable data to identify the sequence of processes leading to solar eruptive events and contribute to a deeper understanding of space weather drivers.

The mission’s major objectives include studying the physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism, solar wind acceleration, coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, and the origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares, as well as near-earth space weather.

Aditya L1 will travel on Earth-bound orbits for 16 days, undergoing several manoeuvres to gain the required speed to reach its destination. Subsequently, it will undergo a trans-Lagrangian insertion manoeuvre that will take 110 days. The satellite will travel approximately 15 million kilometers to reach the L1 point, where another manoeuvre will bind it to an orbit around L1, a balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun.

Aditya L1 is expected to provide valuable insights into the unknown aspects of the Sun and contribute to scientific understanding.