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Aditya-L1 nears culmination: India's sun mission to enter final orbit today

Functioning as a vigilant space observatory, Aditya-L1 aims to monitor dynamic space weather changes, alerting scientists about potential disruptions caused by solar storms and flares that could impact satellite operations.

Aditya L1 nears culmination: India's sun mission to enter final orbit today AJR
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First Published Jan 6, 2024, 10:21 AM IST

India's maiden sun exploration venture, the Indian Space Research Organisation's Aditya-L1 mission, is poised to reach its ultimate orbit on Saturday, marking a pivotal juncture after more than four months since its launch from ISRO's Sriharikota base. Costing Rs 400 crore, the nearly 1,500 kg satellite is primed to operate as India's premier space-based solar observatory, stationed approximately 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth.

Scheduled for a placement in a halo orbit encircling Lagrange point 1 (L1) around 4 pm, the chosen final destination offers a strategic advantage, allowing uninterrupted views of the Sun while avoiding eclipses.

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An ISRO official informed a news agency, "This manoeuvre (around 4 pm on Saturday) will secure the Aditya-L1 in a halo orbit around L1. Otherwise, there's a chance it might veer towards the Sun."

Functioning as a vigilant space observatory, Aditya-L1 aims to monitor dynamic space weather changes, alerting scientists about potential disruptions caused by solar storms and flares that could impact satellite operations. Solar storms, massive magnetic eruptions on the Sun, possess the capacity to affect the entire solar system.

ISRO Chairman S Somanath highlighted its significance and said, "Aditya-L1's continuous Sun observation can forewarn us about impending solar electromagnetic effects on Earth, safeguarding our satellites and vital networks."

With over Rs 50,000 crores' worth of assets in space, safeguarding against solar upheavals becomes imperative, Somanath emphasized.

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Equipped with seven payloads, the Aditya-L1 mission will conduct diverse scientific experiments to unravel the intricacies of the Sun's photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost corona layers through electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors.

Beyond delving into lesser-explored solar phenomena, the satellite promises vital insights into pre-flare activities and space weather dynamics, enhancing our comprehension of this celestial realm.

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