After the successful Chandrayaan 3 mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to launch Aditya-L1, India's first space-based observatory dedicated to studying the Sun.
The launch is scheduled for Saturday (2 September) at 11.50 am from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO will utilise the PSLV-C57 rocket to carry Aditya-L1 into space.
The Indian space agency announced on social media that the PSLV-C57 carrying Aditya-L1 has been transported to the Second Launch Pad at Sriharikota.
Here are the latest pics released by ISRO of PSLV rocket carrying Aditya-L1:
The satellite, developed by U R Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, arrived at Sriharikota earlier this month.
The Aditya-L1 mission is planned to be placed in a halo orbit around the L1 point of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth.
Lagrange Points are positions in space where the gravitational forces of a two body system like the Sun and the Earth produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion. These can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.
They are named in honour of Italian-French mathematician Josephy-Louis Lagrange.
A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any planets obstructing the view or causing eclipses, according to ISRO.
Aditya-L1 Science Payloads
The primary objective of the Aditya-L1 mission is to study the Sun from an orbit around the L1 point.
It will carry seven different payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and the corona, the outermost layers of the Sun, using various wavebands.
The Aditya-L1 mission is a fully indigenous project involving collaborative effort of national institutions.
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), based in Bengaluru, is responsible for developing the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) payload for the Aditya-L1 mission.
The VELC studies the solar corona and dynamics of Coronal Mass Ejections.
Meanwhile, the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) payload has been developed by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune.
The SUIT payload images the Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultra-violet (UV) and also measures the solar irradiance variations in near UV.
The Aditya Solar wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX) is developed by Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.
The Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA) has been developed at Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
The ASPEX and PAPA payloads study the solar wind and energetic ions, as well as their energy distribution.
The Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) and The High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) payloads were developed at U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bangalore.
The SoLEXS and HEL1OS will study the X-ray flares from the Sun over a wide X-ray energy range.
Meanwhile, the Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems at Bengaluru is responsible for developing the the Magnetometer payload.
The Magnetometer payload is capable of measuring interplanetary magnetic fields at the L1 point.
Launch and deployment into halo orbit
The Aditya-L1 mission will be launched by ISRO PSLV rocket from Sathish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota on 2 September.
Initially, the spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit. Subsequently, the orbit will be made more elliptical and later the spacecraft will be launched towards the Lagrange point L1 by using on-board propulsion.
As the spacecraft travels towards L1, it will exit the earths’ gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI).
After exit from the SOI, the cruise phase will start and subsequently 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 for Aditya-L1.
Study of Sun using onboard payloads
From the L1 point, the science payloads onboard will start to collect data about the sun.
According to ISRO, the VELC aims to collect the data for solving how the temperature of the corona can reach about a million degrees while the Sun’s surface itself stays just over 6,000 degrees celsius.
Aditya-L1 can provide observations on the corona, and on the solar chromosphere using the UV payload and on the flares using the X-ray payloads.
The particle detectors and the magnetometer payload can provide information on charged particles and the magnetic field reaching the halo orbit around L1.
Science objectives of Aditya-L1 Mission
According to the ISRO, the major science objectives of Aditya-L1 mission are:
Study of Solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics.
Study of chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of the partially ionized plasma, initiation of the coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and flares.
Observe the in-situ particle and plasma environment providing data for the study of particle dynamics from the Sun.
Physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism.
Diagnostics of the coronal and coronal loops plasma: Temperature, velocity and density.
Development, dynamics and origin of CMEs.
Identify the sequence of processes that occur at multiple layers (chromosphere, base and extended corona) which eventually leads to solar eruptive events.
Magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona.
Drivers for space weather (origin, composition and dynamics of solar wind.
According to the ISRO, the instruments of Aditya-L1 are tuned to observe the solar atmosphere mainly the chromosphere and corona.
In-situ instruments will observe the local environment at L1.
Of the total seven payloads on-board Aditya-L1, four of them will carry out remote sensing of the Sun and three of them carrying in-situ observation.
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