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Countdown Begins: Aditya-L1 Space-Based Sun Observatory to Lift Off on September 2

Countdown Begins: Aditya-L1 Space-Based Sun Observatory to Lift Off on September 2

Written by Sanjay Kumar

Aditya-L1

Spacecraft

  • Mission type – Solar observation
  • Operator – ISRO
  • Mission duration – 5.2 years (planned)
  • Manufacturer – ISRO / IUCAA / IIA
  • Launch date – 2 September 2023, 06:20 UTC (planned)
  • Rocket – PSLV-XL (C57)
  • Launch site – Satish Dhawan Space Centre
  • Contractor – Indian Space Research Organisation
  • Regime – Halo orbit
  • Period – 177.86 days

India’s maiden space-based solar observatory, Aditya-L1, is poised for launch on September 2, as revealed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO conveyed, “The inaugural voyage of Aditya-L1, India’s pioneering solar observatory in space, is set for September 2, 2023, at 11:50 AM IST, taking off from Sriharikota.” The announcement was made via ISRO’s platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

As outlined by ISRO, the spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit encircling Lagrange point 1 (L1) within the Sun-Earth system, a distance of approximately 1.5 million km from Earth. The journey to reach L1 is anticipated to span over 120 days.

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“A satellite positioned in a halo orbit at the L1 point holds a significant advantage of unhindered and continuous solar observation, unaffected by eclipses or occultation. This novel vantage point promises real-time insights into solar activities and their impact on space weather. The spacecraft accommodates seven distinct payloads engineered to scrutinize the sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and its outermost layer, the corona. These scientific instruments encompass electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors. Notably, four payloads are oriented directly towards the sun, while the remaining three engage in in-situ exploration of particles and fields at Lagrange point L1. This comprehensive approach promises crucial insights into the cascading effects of solar dynamics throughout the interplanetary medium,” elucidates the mission profile of Aditya L1

The suite of Aditya L1’s payloads is anticipated to yield pivotal data elucidating phenomena such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, pre-flare and flare activities, alongside their intrinsic attributes. Additionally, the dynamics of space weather and the propagation patterns of particles and fields will be scrutinized.

The satellite accommodates seven distinct payloads, comprising the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph, Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope, Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer, High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer, Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment, Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya, and Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers.

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Payloads along with their major capability of scientific investigation:

Type Sl. No. Payload Capability
Remote Sensing Payloads 1 Visible Emission Line Coronagraph(VELC) Corona/Imaging & Spectroscopy
2 Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) Photosphere and Chromosphere Imaging- Narrow & Broadband
3 Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) Soft X-ray spectrometer: Sun-as-a-star observation
4 High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer(HEL1OS) Hard X-ray spectrometer: Sun-as-a-star observation
In-situ Payloads 5 Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment(ASPEX) Solar wind/Particle Analyzer Protons & Heavier Ions with directions
6 Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA) Solar wind/Particle Analyzer Electrons & Heavier Ions with directions
7 Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers In-situ magnetic field (Bx, By and Bz).

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