ISRO Prepares For Launch Of Aditya-L1, India's First Space-Based Sun Observatory

Karan Kamble

Aug 14, 2023, 12:03 PM | Updated 12:03 PM IST

Aditya-L1 spacecraft at Sriharikota (Photo: ISRO/X)
Aditya-L1 spacecraft at Sriharikota (Photo: ISRO/X)

India's first space-based Indian mission to study the Sun is nearing lift-off.

In an X post (formerly a 'tweet'), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Monday (14 August) that the Aditya-L1 satellite has arrived at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre-Sriharikota Range (SDSC-SHAR), Sriharikota.

The Aditya-L1 mission is getting ready for the launch, ISRO said. The spacecraft will be launched using a polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) on the workhorse rocket's next mission, PSLV-C57.

The launch is expected to take place either at the end of August or in early September, as teased by ISRO Chairman S Somanath soon after the successful launch of the PSLV-C56 mission, which deployed seven Singapore satellites in intended orbit on Sunday (30 July).

India's solar spacecraft will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system. This point is located approximately 1.5 million km from Earth.

By positioning the satellite in this orbit, Aditya-L1 will have the significant advantage of continuously observing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses. This will enable real-time monitoring of solar activities and their impact on space weather.

Aditya-L1 is equipped with seven payloads designed to observe different layers of the Sun, including the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. These payloads will use electromagnetic as well as particle and magnetic field detectors.

Four of the payloads on the spacecraft will have a direct view of the Sun from the special vantage point L1. The other three payloads will conduct in-situ studies of particles and fields at L1, providing valuable scientific data on the propagation of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

The scientific instruments on Aditya-L1 are expected to provide crucial information for understanding various phenomena related to the Sun, such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, pre-flare and flare activities, dynamics of space weather, and the propagation of particles and fields.

The Aditya-L1 satellite was assembled and integrated at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru.

(Pictures of Aditya-L1 at Sriharikota here.)

Also Read: SUITing Up Aditya: How This Instrument On India’s Maiden Solar Space Mission Will Advance Sun Science

Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.

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