ISRO has announced that the Aditya L1 spacecraft, India’s first mission to study the Sun from space, has successfully completed its fourth earth-bound maneuver during the early hours on Friday.
The latest maneuver, known as EBN#4, achieved a new orbit with dimensions of 256 km x 121973 km. The next crucial maneuver, Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I), which will send the spacecraft off from Earth, is scheduled for September 19, around 02:00 Hrs. IST.
Aditya-L1’s mission involves studying the Sun from a halo orbit around the first Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1), located approximately 1.5 million km from Earth. The spacecraft’s journey consists of earth-bound maneuvers to gain the necessary velocity for its trajectory to L1, where it will spend its mission life continuously observing the Sun without eclipses.
Aditya-L1 carries seven scientific payloads developed by ISRO and national research laboratories. These payloads will observe various layers of the Sun and study electromagnetic particles and magnetic fields. The mission aims to understand solar dynamics, coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, space weather, and the propagation of particles and fields.
The spacecraft’s position at L1 is advantageous for real-time monitoring of solar activities and their impact on space weather. The mission is a significant step toward advancing our understanding of the Sun and its influence on Earth’s environment.
The Lagrangian points, including L1, are unique locations in space where objects can remain with minimal fuel consumption due to the balance between gravitational forces from the Earth and the Sun. Aditya-L1’s halo orbit around L1 allows it to study the Sun continuously without being blocked by Earth, making it an ideal vantage point for solar observations.