Mission to Sun 'Aditya-L1' may take off on August 26
ISRO sources told TNIE that Aditya-L1 is tentatively scheduled for August 26 while the Vikram lander onboard Chandrayaan-3 will attempt soft landing on the moon around August 23-24.
CHENNAI: Even as Chandrayaan-3 gets ready for lift-off on Friday, ISRO is also preparing for the launch of a big ticket mission to the sun Aditya-L1 in the last week of August.
ISRO sources told TNIE that Aditya-L1 is tentatively scheduled for August 26 while the Vikram lander on board Chandrayaan-3 will attempt soft landing on the moon around August 23-24. Officials said currently the final phase of Aditya-L1 payload integration and testing is underway. This will be India’s first mission to study the sun.
According to ISRO, the spacecraft shall be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from earth. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the advantage of continuously viewing the sun without any occultation/eclipses. This will give the advantage to observe solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time.
The spacecraft carries seven payloads, all indigenously developed, to monitor photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors.
Aditya-L1 will be launched using PSLV rocket. Similar to Chandrayaan missions, the spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit and, subsequently, the orbit will be made more elliptical and launched towards L1 using on-board propulsion. As the spacecraft travels towards L1, it will exit earth’s gravitational sphere of influence. From here, the cruise phase will start and the spacecraft will be injected into a large halo orbit around L1. The total travel time from launch to L1 would take about four months.
Why study the sun?
- The sun is the nearest star and therefore can be studied in much more detail compared to other stars
- It will help learn more about stars in our Milky Way and other galaxies
- The sun is very dynamic, shows several eruptive phenomena and releases immense amounts of energy
- To understand explosive solar phenomena which could cause disturbances in space near earth