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ISRO's Aditya-L1 set to enter final orbit today

Aditya-L1 spacecraft is the first space-based Indian observatory to study sun

ISRO's Aditya-L1 set to enter final orbit today

The Lagrangian point (L1) is about 1.5 million km from earth.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 5

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to perform on Saturday a crucial manoeuvre of putting Aditya-L1 spacecraft — the first space-based Indian observatory to study the sun — into its final destination orbit, some 1.5 million kilometres from the earth.

Major role

  • A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the Lagrangian (L1) point will help view the sun even during eclipse
  • ISRO scientists and engineers are slated to perform the crucial manoeuvre around 4 pm on Saturday

Aditya-L1, the first Indian space-based observatory to study the sun, was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on September 2 last year.

The ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru carried out four earth-bound manoeuvres between September 3 and 15 to direct the spacecraft toward its intended destination.

On September 19, the spacecraft underwent the Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 insertion manoeuvre, marking the beginning of its 110-day voyage to the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point (L1). L1 is about 1.5 million km from earth.

ISRO scientists and engineers from the Mission Operations Complex of ISTRAC are slated to perform the crucial manoeuvre around 4 pm tomorrow.

The spacecraft is powered by 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engine. It also has eight 22 Newton thrusters and four 10 Newton thrusters. LAM and the thrusters will be intermittently fired to perform the manoeuvre.

Aditya-L1 carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the corona of the sun. Four payloads will directly view the sun and the remaining three will carry out instant studies of solar emissions.

The spacecraft has a mission life of five years during which its payloads are expected to provide insights into coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their features, space weather etc.

At L1, the ISRO satellite will join four operational probes. While three of these — WIND, Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and Deep Space Climate Observatory — belong to NASA, the fourth, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), is a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency.

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