Aditya-L1 spacecraft, India’s first solar mission, has successfully performed the second earth-bound manoeuvre, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on 5 September.
Earlier, on 3 September, ISRO successfully completed the first orbit manoeuvring exercise.
What does Aditya L1’s orbit raising maneouver mean?
An orbital manoeuvre, also called as burn, is a regular protocol during a spaceflight. During this exercise, the orbit of the satellite or spacecraft, is increased by using propulsion systems. This process will include rockets firing and also adjustment of angles. To understand the process, take the example of a person on a swing. To make the swing go higher, a pressure is applied when the swing is coming down towards the ground. Similarly, once Aditya L1 will gain enough velocity, it will slingshot around to its intended path towards L1.
After the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the South pole of the moon, the ISRO launched the country’s maiden solar mission — Aditya-L1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Saturday. Aditya L1 satellite, will remain into Earth orbit for 16 days. During these sixteen days, all the five earth-bound firing exercises will be conducted for the satellite to gain required velocity.
After all the scheduled orbit raising exercises, Aditya L1 will start its journey to L1 point near the Sun. After reaching L1 point, the Indian satellite will undergo a trans-Lagrangian1 insertion manoeuvre, that will start its 110 day long trajectory to its destination.
For this to happen, Aditya L1 will undergo another manoeuvre to get injected into the halo orbit near L1. Lagrangian 1 point is the location where the gravitational force exerted by the Earth and the Sun cancel out each other. This will provide stability to the satellite.
Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (or L1), which is 1.5 million km away from the Earth in the direction of the sun. It is expected to cover the distance in four months’ time. Aditya-L1 will stay approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, directed towards the Sun, which is about 1 per cent of the Earth-Sun distance. The Sun is a giant sphere of gas and Aditya-L1 would study the outer atmosphere of the Sun.
ISRO said Aditya-L1 will neither land on the sun nor approach the sun any closer.
This strategic location will enable Aditya-L1 to continuously observe the sun without being hindered by eclipses or occultation, allowing scientists to study solar activities and their impact on space weather in real time. Also, the spacecraft’s data will help identify the sequence of processes that lead to solar eruptive events and contribute to a deeper understanding of space weather drivers.
The major objectives of India’s solar mission include the study of the physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism, the solar wind acceleration, coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares and near-earth space weather.
(With inputs from ANI)
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Updated: 05 Sep 2023, 06:36 AM IST