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Aditya-L1 performs 4th Earth-bound manoeuvre successfully

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New Delhi [India]: Aditya-L1 spacecraft India’s first space mission to study the sun made its fourth earth-bound manoeuvre on Friday.

ISRO in its latest update said the next manoeuvre for a send-off from the Earth is scheduled for September 19 around 02:00 IST.

The spacecraft, which lifted successfully on September 2, had completed the third manoeuvre on September 10.

“The fourth Earth-bound manoeuvre (EBN#4) is performed successfully. ISRO’s ground stations at Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR and Port Blair tracked the satellite during this operation, while a transportable terminal currently stationed in the Fiji islands for Aditya-L1 will support post-burn operations,” ISRO said in a post on X.

Shifting the focus to its next space odyssey after successfully placing a lander on the moon’s uncharted South Pole region, ISRO launched from Sriharikota — the country’s maiden solar mission named Aditya-L1.

It carried seven different payloads to have a detailed study of the sun, four of which will observe the light from the sun and the other three will measure in-situ parameters of the plasma and magnetic fields.

Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (or L1), which is 1.5 million km away from the Earth in the direction of the sun. It is expected to cover the distance in four months’ time.

Aditya-L1 will stay approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, directed towards the Sun, which is about 1 per cent of the Earth-Sun distance. The Sun is a giant sphere of gas and Aditya-L1 would study the outer atmosphere of the Sun.

Aditya-L1 will neither land on the sun nor approach the sun any closer.

This strategic location will enable Aditya-L1 to continuously observe the sun without being hindered by eclipses or occultation, allowing scientists to study solar activities and their impact on space weather in real-time. Also, the spacecraft’s data will help identify the sequence of processes that lead to solar eruptive events and contribute to a deeper understanding of space weather drivers.

Major objectives of India’s solar mission include the study of the physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism, the solar wind acceleration, coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares and near-earth space weather.

On August 23, India took a giant leap as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon’s South Pole, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat and bringing to an end the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2, four years ago.

India became the fourth country – after the US, China, and Russia – to have successfully landed on the moon’s surface.

After having landed, the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover performed different sets of tasks on the lunar surface, including finding the presence of sulphur and other minor elements, recording relative temperature, and listening to movements around it.

Meanwhile, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover are in “sleep mode”, with awakening expected around September 22 this year.

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