According to ISRO, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft has started its 125-day journey to the Sun after successfully disengaging from the PSLV launch vehicle. The spacecraft was also injected into the “precise orbit” as expected.
“Aditya L1 spacecraft has been injected in an elliptical orbit of 235 by 19,500 km which is intended, very precisely by the PSLV,” ISRO chief S Somanath averred. The Aditya-L1 has now started its 125-day trek towards the Sun, he continued.
Jitendra Singh praised the Aditya L1 launch as a “sunshine moment” and expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support of the space industry.
The Aditya-L1’s purpose, as described by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is to investigate the Sun’s outer atmosphere. The Aditya-L1 will not land on the Sun or get any closer to it, the ISRO added.
The Aditya-L1 remains in Earth-bound orbit for 16 days after today’s launch, during which time it performs five manoeuvres to gather the necessary velocity for its trip towards the Sun. The spacecraft then performs a Trans-Lagrangian 1 insertion manoeuvre, which kicks off the start of its 110-day journey to the target orbit.
Once at the L1, which is a gravitationally balanced region between the Earth and the Sun, another manoeuvre locks Aditya-L1 into an orbit around it.
According to ISRO, the spacecraft spends the entirety of its five-year mission life in an erratically shaped orbit around L1 in a plane nearly perpendicular to the line connecting the Earth and the Sun.
The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph, which investigates the dynamics of CMEs and the solar corona, will send 1,440 photos per day to the ground station for evaluation once it has reached the desired orbit. The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope payload also detects fluctuations in solar irradiance while taking near-ultraviolet photographs of the solar photosphere and chromosphere.
The solar wind and energetic ions as well as the energy distribution are studied by the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) and Plasma Analyzer Package for Aditya (PAPA) payloads. X-ray flares from the Sun are studied by the Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer and the High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) throughout a broad X-ray energy range.
Interplanetary magnetic fields can be measured at the L1 point using the Magnetometer payload. Aditya-L1’s science payloads were produced in-house by a number of ISRO centres working closely together.