An Exciting New Mission
Just days after the successful Chandrayaan-3 mission, India is embarking on an extraordinary journey to study the Sun with its first Sun mission called Aditya L-1. Today, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch the Aditya L-1 spacecraft using the powerful PSLV rocket. This mission aims to observe the solar corona and study the solar wind at the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point, known as L-1, which is located approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from our planet.
The launch countdown began at 23:10 hours on Friday, leading up to the historic moment when Aditya L-1 will begin its 125-day journey to reach the Lagrangian-1 point. This mission will undoubtedly present new challenges, but with the expertise and dedication of ISRO, we can expect remarkable discoveries and invaluable insights into our closest star, the Sun.
Equipment on Board
The Aditya L-1 mission is equipped with cutting-edge instruments designed to capture a comprehensive understanding of the Sun. Some of these instruments include:
- Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): Developed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, the VELC will study changes in the Sun’s corona and emissions.
- Solar Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): Built by the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the SUIT will capture images of the Sun’s photosphere and chromosphere in the near-ultraviolet range.
- Solex and Hal1OS: The Solex and Hal1OS instruments focus on studying Sun X-rays, with the Solar Low-Energy X-Ray Spectrometer (Solex) and the High-Energy L1 Orbiting (Hal1OS) instrument leading the research in this area.
- SPEX and PAP: The Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (SPEX) developed by the Physical Research Laboratory, and the Plasma analyzer package for Aditya (PAP) developed by the Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, will allow scientists to study the solar wind and understand energy distribution.
- Magnetometer (MAG): Developed by Electro Optics Systems Laboratory, the MAG instrument will measure the interplanetary magnetic field around the L1 orbit.
Launching into the Future
The much-awaited Aditya L-1 mission will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The satellite is set to take off at 11:50 am on Saturday, marking a significant milestone for India’s space exploration endeavors. Aditya L-1 will carry a total of seven payloads, four of which are dedicated to observing light from the Sun. These payloads will contribute to expanding our knowledge of the Sun’s behavior and its impact on our planet and the entire solar system.
As we witness the launch of Aditya L-1, let us celebrate the spirit of exploration and our relentless pursuit of scientific understanding. This remarkable mission represents another giant leap for ISRO and India’s space ambitions, as we continue to unravel the mysteries of the universe and gain insights that will shape our future.