Aditya-L1: India Successfully Launches Ambitious Mission to the Sun

This image depicts the Aditya-L1 Solar Mission

In a significantly historic moment, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched the nation’s first Observatory Class Solar Expedition — the Aditya-L1. This comes just days after India became the first nation to land on the south pole of the Moon, courtesy of the Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Mission. And now, India has successfully launched the Aditya-L1 Solar Mission, which is all set to etch its name once again in the book of history. It is the first one of its kind that will spatially revolve around the solar disk in the near UV band of the Sun.

Aditya-L1 Solar Mission Successfully Launched

At exactly 11:50 AM IST today, the 25th PSLV-XL rocket, the PSLV-C57 blasted off the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR (SDSC-SHAR), Sriharikota, with the Aditya-L1 Observatory Class Satellite onboard. The rocket soared high into the bright day sky, leaving behind a trail of thick white fumes. As per the ISRO Control Mission, the liftoff happened as per expectations with all the vital signals of the PSLV-C57 rocket being normal.

Source: ISRO

In a matter of 53 seconds, the rocket successfully covered the intended altitude of 185 kilometers with the second and third stages of the PSLV rocket getting separated successfully. By 12:11 AM IST, the Aditya-L1 solar mission was able to enter its intended PS4 coasting phase. And this is just the beginning! With an estimated journey of four months, the Aditya-L1 Solar Mission is expected to be one of ISRO’s longest.

Also, from launch till Aditya-L1’s ejection point, it will take the PSLV-C57 rocket about 63 minutes and will take an additional 10 minutes to successfully reach the passivation of the fourth stage. This makes the entire launch duration of around 73 minutes. According to the Aditya-L1’s Flight Plan, the ISRO Mission Control will aid in switching off the rocket twice in the fourth stage to let it gently cruise along its intended trajectory for about 30 minutes (first for about 26 minutes and then for another 3 to 4 minutes).

Source: ISRO

With its maiden Solar Mission, ISRO aims to study the outermost layer of the Sun (the Corona) and conduct in-situ experimentation to understand the particle dynamics of the Sun. All of this will be achieved from a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1 (L1). The PSLV-C57 spacecraft will travel an approximate distance of 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth and will carry seven key payloads to achieve this feat. This will help the agency study the behavior and effects of solar storms and detect them in real time.

That being said, if India becomes successful in its solar endeavor, it will join the likes of Japan, the US, and the European Space Agency (ESA), who are already observing the ball of fire. We will keep track of Aditya-L1’s journey and bring the latest updates. In the meantime, do not forget to share your thoughts on India’s debut Solar Mission in the comment section below.

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