How far will the Aditya-L1 spacecraft travel?
Hitching a ride on India’s heavy-duty launch vehicle, the PSLV, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft will travel 1.5 million km in about four months to study the sun’s atmosphere.
It will head to a kind of parking lot in space where objects tend to stay put because of balancing gravitational forces, reducing fuel consumption for the spacecraft.
Those positions are called Lagrange Points, named after Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange.
Objectives of Aditya-L1 mission
As per ISRO, the mission’s objective include understanding chromospheric and coronal heating, the physics of the partially ionized plasma, formation of the coronal mass ejections, and flares. Further, it will also be studying the following:
- Understand the scientific reason behind solar corona and its heating mechanism.
- Calculate the Temperature, velocity and density of the outermost layer of the Sun.
- Study various layers of the sun.
- Gather magnetic field measurements of the solar corona.
- Study the formation, and composition of solar wind and space weather.
- This mission will give us more details about the sun and the solar atmosphere which is affected by the sun’s activities.
The Aditya-L1 spacecraft will join other solar observatories such as NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter, and more.
Aditya-L1 mission details
Aditya-L1 mission will study the Sun for nearly 5 years, and try to understand space weather in depth. The ISRO PSLV rocket spacecraft is set to take flight from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota today. According to an ISRO report, the spacecraft will have seven scientific payloads to study the Sun from different angles. The spacecraft will be placed in low Earth orbit (LEO) in the Lagrange point L1 of the Earth-Sun system.
Named after the Hindi word for the sun, the spacecraft is India’s first space-based solar probe. It aims to study solar winds, which can cause disturbance on Earth and are commonly seen as “auroras”.
Longer term, data from the mission could help better understand the sun’s impact on Earth’s climate patterns.