India’s 1st mission to study the sun launches Sept. 2

The Aditya-1 solar mission launches hot on the heels of India’s first moon landing.

Scientists hope the Aditya-L1 observatory will provide clues to these decades-long mysteries.

The spacecraft is scheduled to take off on a four-stage rocket, known as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which will first place the observatory on a stable circular path around Earth. Once scientists are sure that its seven instruments on board survived the launch without damage, the spacecraft’s circular orbit will be stretched into an egg-shaped orbit, beginning its journey. lasted four months to the final destination.

The observatory will eventually head towards a parking spot in space about 1 million miles (1.5 million km) from Earth, where it will gain uninterrupted views of the sun. This space outpost, known as Terre-Soleil Lagrange Point 1 or L1, is also home to the Solar and Heliosphere Observatory, a NASA and European Space Agency project that has been monitoring solar activity. heaven since 1996. Of the seven payloads on board Aditya, four are dedicated to direct observation of the sun. These include two X-ray spectrometers that will study the properties of solar flares, one that will take pictures of the sun continuously to detect flares forming on the sun, and a fourth to measure solar flares. solar radiation.

Of the three remaining scientific instruments, two are equipped to study the solar wind and its components, while the third is a magnetometer to measure the magnetic field at the spacecraft’s location at L1, according to the mission plan.

The Aditya-L1 observatory, which costs nearly 3.8 billion rupees ($45 million) and has been in operation for 15 years, is India’s second major launch this year. Last month, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft took off from Sriharikota on a fuel-efficient journey to the moon and successfully landed near the lunar south pole on August 1. 23, becoming the first spacecraft of a country to land there.

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