ISRO on Saturday launched the country’s ambitious Solar mission, Aditya-L1 eyeing history again after its successful lunar expedition, Chandrayan 3 a few days ago. As the 23:40-hour countdown concluded, the 44.4 meter tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) soared majestically at the prefixed time of 11:50 am from this spaceport, located on the Eastern coast about 135 km from Chennai.
According to ISRO, Aditya-L1 is the first space-based observatory to study the Sun. The spacecraft, after travelling about 1.5 million km from the Earth over 125 days, is expected to be placed in a Halo orbit around the Lagrangian point L1 which is considered closest to the Sun.
Among others, it will send pictures of the sun for scientific experiments. According to scientists, there are five Lagrangian points (or parking areas) between the Earth and the Sun where a small object tends to stay if put there. These points in space can be used by spacecraft to remain there with reduced fuel consumption.
This PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 mission can be counted as one of the longest missions involving ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle. However, the longest of the PSLV missions is still the 2016 PSLV-C35 mission which was completed two hours, 15 minutes and 33 seconds after lift-off.
Following the launch, Aditya-L1 will stay in earth-bound orbits for 16 days, during which it will undergo five manoeuvres to gain the necessary velocity for its journey.
The 23-hour 40-minute countdown leading to the launch at 11:50 Hrs. IST on September 2, 2023, has commended today at 12:10 Hrs. The launch can be watched LIVE on ISRO Website isro.gov.in Facebook facebook.com/ISRO YouTube youtube.com/watch?v=_IcgGY DD National TV channel from 11:20 Hrs. IST
Aditya-L1 will stay approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, directed towards the Sun, which is about 1% 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.