All set for the launch of Aditya L1 today, the Solar mission to send 1,440 images per day

Sriharikota (AP): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the launch of its next big project, the Aditya-L1 Mission, India’s first solar mission that could revolutionise the understanding of the Sun’s dynamics and space weather.

ISRO has set the date for the launch of its first-ever solar mission on 2 September, Saturday. According to ISRO, the Aditya-L1 mission is the first space-based observatory-class Indian solar mission to study the Sun. It will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.

ISRO scientists have used ‘XL’, the more powerful variant of the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) that would carry the spacecraft along with the seven payloads. Similar PSLV-XL variants were used in the Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008 and the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in 2013.

ISRO chief S Somanath offered prayers at Chengalamma Parameshwari Temple in Tirupati district, Andhra Pradesh ahead of the launch of #AdityaL1Mission.

The satellite is expected to be put into orbit in the middle of January and then will do the test if all the systems are working properly and by the end of February ISRO expect to get the regular data.

Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), which is 1.5 million km from the Earth in the direction of the Sun. It will revolve around the Sun with the same relative position and hence can see the Sun continuously.

The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), the primary payload of Aditya L1 — the first space based Indian mission to study the Sun, will be sending 1,440 images per day to the ground station for analysis on reaching the intended orbit. VELC, “the largest and technically most challenging” payload on Aditya-L1, was integrated, tested, and calibrated at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics’s (IIA) CREST (Centre for Research and Education in Science Technology) campus in Hoskote.

Explaining the need to study the Sun, Professor and In-Charge Scientist at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Dr R Ramesh told PTI that just as there are earthquakes on Earth, there are something called solar quakes – called as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) – on the surface of the Sun.