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Countdown Begins for India’s Pioneering Solar Observatory Mission – Aditya-L1

Preparations in the final phase for the launch of PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 Mission. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota is abuzz with excitement as the countdown for India’s groundbreaking solar observatory mission, Aditya-L1, has officially commenced. This pioneering mission, slated for launch on September 2, 2023, marks India’s foray into solar exploration.

Launch Details

  • Launch Vehicle: The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is set to be launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on September 2, 2023, at 11:50 a.m. IST from Sriharikota.

Unique Orbit

Aditya-L1 is set to be placed in a highly eccentric earth-bound orbit. However, what sets this mission apart is its eventual destination—an orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the sun-earth system, approximately 1.5 million km from Earth.

Uninterrupted Solar Observation

This strategic positioning offers a distinct advantage. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point enjoys uninterrupted views of the sun without any occultation or eclipses. This provides an unprecedented opportunity to observe solar activities and their impact on space weather in real time.

Scientific Payloads

Aditya-L1 carries an array of seven cutting-edge payloads designed to observe various aspects of the sun, including the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layer, the corona. These observations are made possible through electromagnetic and particle detectors, as well as magnetic field detectors.

Key Objectives

The mission aims to provide critical insights into key solar phenomena, including:

  • Coronal heating
  • Coronal mass ejections
  • Pre-flare and flare activities
  • Space weather dynamics
  • Particle and field propagation in the interplanetary medium

Payload Highlights

The seven payloads onboard the Aditya-L1 satellite include:

  1. Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)
  2. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
  3. Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
  4. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
  5. Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
  6. Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA)
  7. Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers

A Momentous Achievement

The launch of Aditya-L1 follows India’s historic lunar landing mission, making India only the fourth country to successfully land on the moon and the first to land near the lunar south pole.

This ambitious solar observatory mission holds great promise for advancing our understanding of the sun and its profound influence on our solar system. As the countdown progresses, the anticipation for this scientific milestone continues to grow.

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