Aditya-L1 Completes Fourth Earth Operation, Prepares for Final Journey on September 19


Early on Friday, scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (Istrac) successfully executed the fourth Earth-bound maneuver for Aditya-L1, India’s pioneering solar space observatory mission launched on September 2. This significant maneuver occurred at 2:15 AM, placing the spacecraft into a stable orbit of 256 kilometers by 121,973 kilometers.

Isro reported that during this operation, its ground stations located in Mauritius, Bengaluru, Sriharikota, and Port Blair meticulously tracked the satellite’s progress. Additionally, a transportable terminal, stationed in the Fiji Islands specifically for Aditya-L1, is poised to support post-burn operations.

India’s Aditya-L1 mission, the nation’s first solar space observatory, is a groundbreaking endeavor that aims to observe the Sun from a unique vantage point. As part of its journey, Aditya-L1 has also captured striking images of Earth and the Moon.

The mission’s plan included a series of Earth-bound orbits for 16 days following its launch, during which it would undergo five crucial maneuvers to attain the necessary velocity for its subsequent journey. The next pivotal step in this voyage is the Trans-Lagrangian1 Insertion (TLI) maneuver, slated to take place on September 19, 2023, around 2 AM.

Upon successful execution of the TLI maneuver, Aditya-L1 will embark on its 110-day trajectory towards its final destination—the L1 Lagrange point. This specific location in space, approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, is known as Lagrange Point-1 of the Sun-Earth system. It possesses a unique characteristic where the gravitational forces between two celestial bodies, such as the Sun and Earth, are perfectly balanced, allowing objects placed there to maintain relative stability in relation to both celestial bodies.

Aditya-L1 will spend the entirety of its mission orbiting around L1 in an irregularly shaped orbit, positioned in a plane that is roughly perpendicular to the line connecting Earth and the Sun. This distinctive vantage point will enable Aditya-L1 to observe the Sun with unparalleled clarity and precision, enhancing our understanding of solar activities and their potential impacts on Earth.

The successful execution of each maneuver brings Aditya-L1 closer to fulfilling its mission objectives and contributing valuable insights to solar science. As the spacecraft prepares for its journey to the L1 Lagrange point, the scientific community eagerly anticipates the wealth of data and observations it will provide, which will undoubtedly deepen our knowledge of the Sun and its influence on our planet.

Aditya-L1 represents India’s dedication to advancing space exploration and solar science. It not only showcases the country’s technological prowess but also reinforces its commitment to contributing to global scientific endeavors. As the mission progresses towards its final destination, it is poised to further India’s reputation as a formidable player in space research and exploration, with the potential to yield groundbreaking discoveries in the field of solar physics.

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