Ahead of Aditya-L1 launch, ex-ISS commander Chris Hadfield hails India's space power; check details
Aditya-L1 mission has a primary objective: an in-depth study of the Sun. It incorporates seven distinct payloads, four of which will focus on observing sunlight, while the remaining three will conduct on-site measurements of plasma and magnetic fields.
As India counts down to the launch of its inaugural solar mission, Aditya-L1, bound for the Sun, former International Space Station (ISS) commander, Chris Hadfield, commended India's remarkable "technological prowess." In an interview with a news agency, Hadfield conveyed his deep admiration for India's accomplishments in space exploration and underscored the global importance of the Aditya-L1 mission.
The Aditya-L1 mission is set for liftoff on Saturday at 11:50 IST from Sriharikota, marking India's debut solar space observatory. It will be transported into space by the PSLV-C57 rocket. This mission has a primary objective: an in-depth study of the Sun. It incorporates seven distinct payloads, four of which will focus on observing sunlight, while the remaining three will conduct on-site measurements of plasma and magnetic fields.
Hadfield emphasized the wide-ranging significance of the Aditya-L1 mission, stating, "When we position something like Aditya L-1 between our planet and the Sun to observe these phenomena and gain a better understanding of how the Sun operates and the potential threats it poses to Earth, it benefits everyone by safeguarding human life. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in protecting our electrical and internet grids, along with the thousands of satellites orbiting above us."
Aditya-L1's journey will revolve around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), a strategic location approximately 1.5 million km from Earth in the direction of the sun. This celestial voyage is expected to span around four months. Chris Hadfield emphasized the fundamental role of technology in our everyday lives, spanning from electricity to communication, underscoring the invaluable nature of space weather data gathered by Aditya-L1 for the entire world.
India's solar mission holds a multitude of key objectives, including an in-depth exploration of the physics governing the solar corona and the processes responsible for its heating. Also, it will examine solar wind dynamics, the behavior of the solar atmosphere, and more. Cutting-edge instruments such as the VELC coronagraph will be employed to examine the sun's corona, a typically elusive phenomenon visible only during total solar eclipses.
The former ISS Commander also showered praise on India's recent milestones in space exploration, particularly applauding the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon. He hailed it as a momentous achievement, showcasing India's technological prowess. Hadfield also acknowledged India's cost-effective approach to lunar exploration, highlighting the nation's competitiveness in the global space arena.
The former ISS commander also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership in advancing India's space endeavors. "I think Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recognized this for several years. He is actively engaged with the Indian space and research organization... So, it's a strategically wise move by India's leadership at present – fostering development, while concurrently working on privatization to enhance the welfare of Indian businesses and, consequently, the Indian populace," Hadfield said.