ISRO to launch its first Sun mission- “Aditya-L1”


GS-03 (Space technology)

Aditya-L1 Mission Overview:

  • The Aditya-L1 Mission is a project aimed at studying various aspects of the Sun.
  • It involves launching the Aditya L1 spacecraft using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with seven payloads onboard.

Launch Vehicle and Payloads:

The Aditya L1 spacecraft will be launched using the PSLV and will carry seven payloads (instruments):

  1. VELC
  2. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
  3. Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
  4. Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
  5. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
  6. Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)
  7. Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers

Mission Objective:

  • The primary objective of the Aditya-L1 Mission is to conduct comprehensive studies of the Sun’s corona, photosphere, chromosphere, solar emissions, solar winds, flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).
  • The mission aims to achieve continuous round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.

L1 Orbit and Its Significance:

  • Aditya-L1 will be launched to the Lagrangian Point 1 (L1) orbit, situated approximately 1.5 million km from Earth.
  • L1 is a pivotal point in the Earth-Sun orbital system, offering unique gravitational conditions.
  • Placing a satellite in the halo orbit around L1 enables uninterrupted observation of the Sun, without being affected by occultation or eclipses.

VELC Payload Features and Significance:

  • The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) is the key payload among the seven instruments. Developed over a span of 15 years, it is a highly precise instrument designed in India.
  • VELC’s significance lies in its capability to study the corona’s temperature, velocity, and density. It aids in understanding processes leading to corona heating, solar wind acceleration, space weather drivers, magnetic field measurement, and the origin of coronal mass ejections.

Other Solar Missions:

  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe: Focuses on tracing energy and heat movement in the Sun’s corona and studying the solar wind’s acceleration source. Part of NASA’s ‘Living With a Star’ initiative.
  • Helios 2 Solar Probe: A joint venture of NASA and erstwhile West Germany’s space agency, it approached within 43 million km of the Sun’s surface in 1976.
  • Solar Orbiter: Joint mission by ESA and NASA to gather data on how the Sun shapes and controls the dynamic space environment across the solar system.
  • Active Sun-Monitoring Spacecraft: Includes ACE, IRIS, WIND, Hinode, Solar Dynamics Observatory, and Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO).