Isro to Launch India’s First Sun Mission on Sept 2

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Isro has announced that India’s first Sun mission, Aditya-L1, is scheduled to take off from Sriharikota on September 2 morning

Just 10 days after the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) created history by successfully landing the country’s third lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3 on the south polar region of the Moon, it is ready to achieve another milestone mission. The space organisation on Monday announced that Aditya-L1, India’s first Sun mission, is scheduled to take off from Sriharikota on September 2 morning.

“PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 Mission: The launch of Aditya-L1, the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun, is scheduled for September 2, 2023, at 11:50 Hrs. IST from Sriharikota,” Isro said in a statement issued on Monday.

Last week, HT had reported about Isro aiming for a launch window of September 1 to September 5, with its most preferred date being September 2.

The Aditya-L1 mission, which will mark India’s first mission to study the Sun, will allow India’s scientists to unlock new insights about the centre of our solar system.

The spacecraft is meant to be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth.

Earlier, the mission was conceived as Aditya-1 with a 400 kg class satellite carrying one payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), that was to be launched in an 800-km low Earth orbit.

However, since a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the first lagrangian point (L1) of the Sun-Earth system has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any accultation/eclipses, the Aditya-1 mission was renamed as Aditya-L1 mission.

A Lagrange Point is a spot in space where the force of gravity of the nearest celestial entities cancel each other out, helping an object remain in equilibrium.

Isro scientists said the instruments of Aditya-L1 are tuned to observe the solar atmosphere mainly, the chromosphere and the corona — two outermost layers of the star. The instruments will observe the local environment at L1 and carry out remote sensing and observation.

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft carries seven payloads—Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer(HEL1OS), which are remote sensing payloads; Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA), Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers, which are in-situ payloads—to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors.

The objectives of the mission are to study the solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics, chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of the partially ionised plasma, initiation of the coronal mass ejections 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, and analyse the magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona along with drivers of space weather.

Using the special vantage point L1, four payloads directly view the Sun, and the remaining three payloads carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1, thus providing important scientific studies of the propagatory effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

In its mission document that was released in July, Isro said, “The suits of Aditya-L1 payloads are expected to provide the most crucial information to understand the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics, dynamics of space weather, propagation of particles and fields.”

Source: Hindustan Times