ISRO + ESA= India’s Sun mission successful as Aditya-L1 has European friends

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has back-to-back missions lined up for the extraterrestrial exploration, with the latest being the Aditya-L1 mission that set-off to study the Sun. The payload of this mission will send us data about the brightest star in the solar system from a distance of around 1.5 million km from the Earth.

Illustration of Lagrange point L1 where (ISRO) solar mission, Aditya-L1 will be placed, on Saturday.(ISRO)

In order to receive information from the payload efficiently, a robust communication infrastructure is an essential aspect. Here, the European Space Agency (ESA) plays a pivotal role as it offers its services in deep space communication. It ensures in receiving not only the scientific data from faraway distance but also to ascertain the location and status of the spacecraft.

“For the Aditya-L1 mission, we are providing support from all three of our 35-metre deep space antennas located in Australia, Spain, and Argentina,” Ramesh Chellathurai, ESA service manager said. Along with this, the foreign space agency is also providing additional support from its stations in French Guiana and UK.

Both ISRO and ESA will continue to work together throughout the stretch of the Aditya-L1 mission over two years of routine operations.

ESA’s other job is to validate a dedicated software developed by ISRO to determine the exact position of the spacecraft. It will use the process known as orbit determination to ascertain the craft’s position.

How will the payload be injected into the Lagrangian point?

The name Lagrangian Point was given after its discover and French mathematician Louis Lagrange and its L1 is one of five such points, situated between Earth and Sun.

Aditiya-L1 will carry out its journey to one of the ‘unstable’ Lagrangian points by performing transfer manoeuvre over the period of 125 days.

How long ISRO, ESA have been working together?

Both ISRO and ESA joined forces since 2022 and has been intensively working together to evaluate Aditya-L1 mission’s operations and the development of the software.

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