Aditya-L1 : While Vikram and Pragyan, the lander and rover of Chandrayaan-3, continue their science on the moon, Isro has set the launch date for its solar mission as September 2 at 11:50 am.
The agency has completed the integration of the Aditya-L1 spacecraft – India’s first solar observation mission – with the launch vehicle PSLV at Sriharikota.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Center director S Unnikrishnan Nair told TOI that with this Isro has reached the final phase of launch preparations. “The launch vehicle and the spacecraft are connected to each other. We are now conducting tests after which the PSLV will be brought to the launch pad.
The spacecraft, deployed at the UR Rao Satellite Center (URSC) in Bengaluru, reached the Sriharikota spaceport on August 14. Aditya-L1 is India’s first space-based observatory-class solar probe to study the sun.
The Solar Exploration Mission is India’s fifth largest mission after the Mangalyaan program and the three lunar missions. Isro has completed the integration of the Aditya-L1 launch vehicle with the PSLV (C57) workhorse launch vehicle.
The spacecraft is moving to Lagrangian point 1 – between the Sun and the Earth, 1.5 million kilometres from our planet. A satellite placed in a halo orbit around L1 has the advantage of seeing the Sun continuously without dimming or eclipse, which is not possible from Earth. The spacecraft is designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind at L1.
According to Isro: “Aditya-L1 payloads should provide key information for understanding coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, preburn and explosion characteristics and their properties, space weather dynamics, particle dispersion and fields in the interplanetary medium.”
The spacecraft Aditya-L1 carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outer layers of the Sun, the corona, in different wavelengths.
Launched from Sriharikota on a PSLV-C57 rocket on September 2, the spacecraft will initially be placed in low Earth orbit. Later, the orbit becomes more elliptical and then the spacecraft is launched towards the L1 point using the thrust of the ship.