Mission to Study the Sun: Aditya-L1’s Remarkable Journey to its Destination
India’s foray into space-based solar observation marks a historic milestone with the launch of Aditya-L1. This mission aimed at unraveling the mysteries of the Sun represents a significant leap in space research and technology for the nation. As Aditya-L1 nears the completion of its 127-day journey to its orbit.
The Aditya-L1 mission is a groundbreaking endeavor by India to study the Sun. Launched on September 2, 2023. This spacecraft is unique as it’s positioned in a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1). This vantage point offers an uninterrupted view of the Sun.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C57) was the chosen carrier for Aditya-L1. It was taking off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The mission’s success hinged on the precise insertion of the observatory into its orbit. According to Dr. M Annadurai, a former ISRO scientist and project director of the Chandrayaan 1 mission, reaching and maintaining the orbit around L1 posed significant challenges.
Unlike conventional orbits around planetary bodies, the orbit of Aditya-L1 is three-dimensional which influenced by the gravitational forces of both the Earth and the Sun. This complex interplay of forces requires meticulous planning and execution to ensure the spacecraft remains stable in its path.
Today, as Aditya-L1 completes 127 days in space. The mission team prepares for the critical phase of maneuvering the spacecraft into its designated orbit. This involves a series of calculated adjustments to counter the gravitational effects and ensure the observatory’s optimal positioning for solar studies.