The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) created history by successfully launching Aditya L-1, India’s first-ever solar observatory mission on 2nd September 2023.
This launch took place at 11:50 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, with Aditya-L1 on board, using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during its 59th flight.
After about 63 minutes of the launch, the PSLV successfully carried out its separation from the satellite, launching the Aditya-L1 in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth at 12:53 p.m. This mission was also marked as one of the longest journeys of ISRO’s reliable launch vehicle in recent history.
What are the next steps?
Following the launch, Aditya-L1 will remain in the Earth’s orbit for 16 days, during which it will execute five maneuvers to gain the necessary velocity for its long journey toward the sun.
After this initial stage, Aditya-L1 will initiate a Trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuver, marking the start of its 110-day journey toward its destination near the L1 Lagrange point. After arriving at the L1 point, another maneuver will be executed to stabilize the Aditya-L1 into an orbit around L1- a balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the sun.
These maneuvers to the spacecraft will be executed using the LAM (Liquid Apogee Motor) engine to reach the L1 position.
This spacecraft will stay approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, facing the sun, which is about 1% of the distance between Earth and the Sun.
The mission lifespan of Aditya-L1 is five years during which its payloads are expected to provide the most important information for understanding the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare, and flare activities and their attributes, space weather dynamics and behavior of particles and fields in the space environment.
What are the seven payloads deployed on the spacecraft?
The seven payloads deployed on the solar panels of the spacecraft are expected to provide the most crucial information for understanding certain problems. The solar panels deployed on the spacecraft and it started generating power.
The seven payloads onboard the Aditya-L1 satellite are-
1. Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VLEC)
2. Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
3. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
4. Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)
5. Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
6. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
7. Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers