With the triumph of placing a lander on the Moon’s uncharted South Pole region behind it, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for its next space endeavor. ISRO’s chairman, S Somanath, announced that the country’s inaugural solar mission, Aditya-L1, is prepared for launch and will take place in the first week of September. The ISRO chief indicated that the exact launch date will be disclosed within the next two days.
Named after the Sun’s core, Aditya-L1 is poised to become India’s first space-based solar observatory. Its primary objective is to provide groundbreaking insights into the Sun’s behavior. The mission involves placing the satellite in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, positioned approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth.
This strategic vantage point offers uninterrupted solar observations, eliminating the interference caused by eclipses or occultation. Such unobstructed observations will enable scientists to study solar activities and their influence on space weather in real time.
Aditya-L1 is equipped with seven advanced payloads, each meticulously designed to scrutinize different layers of the Sun — from the photosphere and chromosphere to the outermost layer, the corona. These payloads incorporate electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors to collect vital data necessary for comprehending phenomena such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, solar flares, and more.
A unique feature of Aditya-L1’s mission is its direct view of the Sun from the L1 point. Four payloads will capture clear observations of the Sun, while the remaining three will engage in in-situ studies of particles and fields at this strategic location.
The combined observations are poised to unlock the enigmatic workings of solar dynamics and their implications for the interplanetary medium. The data gathered by the spacecraft will shed light on the intricate sequence of processes leading to solar eruptive events, enhancing our understanding of space weather catalysts.
Earlier, on June 28, the ISRO Chairman had provided an update, revealing that the organization was targeting the end of August for the launch of Aditya-L1. Now, as ISRO shifts its focus to this forthcoming solar mission, the world eagerly anticipates the wealth of knowledge it will bring about our nearest star, the Sun.