Aditya-L1 mission: ISRO fixes course of spacecraft rocketing towards the Sun

India's Aditya-L1 mission is en route to study the Sun and recently ISRO adjusted its path for a smooth journey towards the Lagrange 1 point- some 1.5 mn km away from the Earth.

| Updated on: Oct 08 2023, 12:41 IST
Aditya-L1 mission
The course of the Aditya-L1 mission spacecraft has been adjusted by ISRO as it journeys to the Sun-Earth L1 point. (ISRO Facebook)
Aditya-L1 mission
The course of the Aditya-L1 mission spacecraft has been adjusted by ISRO as it journeys to the Sun-Earth L1 point. (ISRO Facebook)

India's first solar space observatory, Aditya-L1, is now on its way to the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point-1 (L1), which is about 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth. Aditya-L1 mission has gone off perfectly and it is expected to make yet another amazing achievement for India and ISRO scientists. But before reaching its destination, ISRO had to make a small adjustment in the path of the Aditya-L1 mission spacecraft.

Recently, Aditya-L1 mission spacecraft performed a Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) on October 6. This maneuver was necessary to make sure Aditya-L1 stay on the right course after a previous operation called Trans-Lagrangian Point-1 Insertion (TL1I), which happened on September 19, 2023.

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Aditya-L1 mission: Journey So Far

The TCM was a quick 16-second move that ensured Aditya-L1 heads in the right direction towards its orbit around L1. The spacecraft is in good shape, and soon its magnetometer will be turned on again.

A few days ago, on September 30, Aditya-L1 successfully moved beyond 9.2 lakh kilometers from Earth, escaping Earth's influence. This achievement marked the second time ISRO sent a spacecraft beyond Earth's influence, with the first being the Mars Orbiter Mission.

Aditya-L1 has traveled more than 10 lakh kilometers in space and is expected to reach Lagrange Point 1 in the first week of January, according to the mission's Project Director, Nigar Shaji.

Explaining the significance of Lagrange Point 1, Nigar told Aaj Tak, "We are going to L1 for the first time. It's an imaginary point where the gravitational pull of the Sun and Earth balances. The spacecraft needs to balance between the pull of the Sun and Earth, which is a real challenge. It's like balancing a ball on top of a hill."

Aditya-L1 mission: Objectives

The mission's goal is to study the Sun closely. Dr. Annapurni Subramaniam, the director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, highlighted the importance of this mission. They plan to study the Sun's behavior, coronal mass ejections, heating of the corona, and the temperature difference between the surface and the corona.

Dr. Subramaniam also pointed out that the Sun's solar wind has a significant impact on our planet, so understanding the factors affecting it is crucial.

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First Published Date: 08 Oct, 12:40 IST