ISRO's Aditya L1 marks success with second earth-bound maneuver
Bengaluru, September 5: India's inaugural solar mission, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, has accomplished its second earth-bound maneuver, as confirmed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
In an announcement, ISRO stated, "Aditya-L1 Mission: The second Earth-bound maneuver (EBN#2) is performed successfully from ISTRAC, Bengaluru. ISTRAC/ISRO's ground stations at Mauritius, Bengaluru, and Port Blair tracked the satellite during this operation. The new orbit attained is 282 km x 40225 km." The maneuver took place during the early hours of Tuesday.
ISRO also disclosed that the next maneuver, EBN#3, is scheduled for September 10, around 02:30 Hrs. IST.
Following the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the South pole of the moon, ISRO launched India's maiden solar mission, Aditya-L1, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Saturday. Aditya-L1 is equipped with seven different payloads, with four designed to observe light from the sun and three to measure in-situ parameters of the plasma and magnetic fields.
Aditya-L1 is destined for a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), situated 1.5 million km away from Earth in the direction of the sun. It is projected to reach this destination in four months. Aditya-L1 will remain approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, continuously facing the Sun, which represents about 1 percent of the Earth-Sun distance. The satellite's primary mission is to study the outer atmosphere of the Sun.
ISRO clarified that Aditya-L1 will neither land on the sun nor approach it any closer. This strategic orbit will enable the spacecraft to continuously monitor the sun without being obstructed by eclipses or occultation, facilitating real-time study of solar activities and their impact on space weather. The data collected will also contribute to a better understanding of space weather drivers and the sequence of processes leading to solar eruptive events.
The key objectives of India's solar mission include investigating the physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism, solar wind acceleration, the coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution, temperature anisotropy, and the origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares, as well as near-earth space weather.
Aditya-L1, a dedicated satellite for comprehensive solar study, will follow Earth-bound orbits for 16 days, undergoing five maneuvers to attain the required speed for its journey. Subsequently, the satellite will execute a trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuver, taking 110 days to travel approximately 15 million kilometers to reach the L1 point. Upon arrival at L1, another maneuver will position Aditya-L1 into orbit around this balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun, as detailed on ISRO's official website.