India's Aditya L-1 solar mission reaches final destination

Spacecraft was launched to study the Sun's corona and its influence on space weather

India's  Aditya-L1 spacecraft took four months to reach its final position about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth.
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India's solar observation mission, Aditya-L1, has reached its destination within its scheduled four-month time frame, marking yet another achievement for the country's space programme after the successful landing of a craft near the Moon’s south pole last year.

Launched on September 2, the spacecraft covered approximately 1.5 million kilometres to position itself at Lagrange Point 1, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Saturday.

From there, it will undertake a comprehensive study of the Sun, focusing on the solar corona and its influence on space weather.

The Lagrange Point benefits from gravitational forces that allow objects to remain relatively stationary, reducing fuel consumption for the spacecraft.

“India creates yet another landmark. It is a testament to the relentless dedication of our scientists in realising among the most complex and intricate space missions,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a post on social media platform X.

India launches rocket to study the Sun

India launches rocket to study the Sun

Equipped with seven payloads, Aditya-L1 is slated to conduct remote sensing of the sun and in situ observations for an estimated five years.

Scientists involved in the project aim to gain insights into the impact of solar radiation on the increasing number of satellites in orbit, with a particular focus on phenomena affecting ventures like Elon Musk's Starlink communications network.

“We definitely need to know more about the Sun, as it controls the space weather,” said Manish Purohit, a former ISRO scientist.

Stationing a spacecraft at L1 acts as an early warning system, with roughly one hour advantage for an upcoming storm from the Sun, he said.

India has more projects lined up this year, including its first human space mission and a low-Earth orbit observatory system developed jointly developed by ISRO and Nasa, called Nisar.

Nisar will map the entire planet once every 12 days, providing data for understanding changes in ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, groundwater and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

With reporting from agencies.

Updated: January 07, 2024, 2:22 PM