India on its way to the Sun
India on its way to the Sun

| Pierre-François Mouriaux | Source : Air&Cosmos 256 mots

India on its way to the Sun

Every weekend, a picture that made the news or caught our attention. On September 2, an Indian PSLV-XL launcher sent the Aditya L1 coronagraph to our star.

Four months of cruising

India is definitely on a roll : just nine days after softly deposited the Chandrayaan 3 lander near the Moon's south pole - a world first -, the Indian Space Agency (Isro) has dispatched its first probe to the Sun : Aditya L1 (Sun L1, in Sanskrit).

This is the first time India has aimed at the Lagrange point L1 of the Earth-Sun system, located around 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

The launch took place on September 2 at 06:20 UTC from the Sriharikota base on the country's east coast.

The following day, the first Earth-orbit maneuver placed the spacecraft in a provisional orbit of 245 km × 22,459 km.

The final objective should be reached in January 2024, after some 125 days of cruising.

The Aditya L1 mission is scheduled to last 5.2 years.


Seven payloads

From its halo orbit around this point, Aditya L1 will be able to study continuously, without occultation or eclipse, the activity of our star and its effects on Earth's meteorology.

In this way, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of coronal heating and mass ejection, pre-eruption and eruption activity, space weather dynamics, particle and field propagation and more.

The coronagraph is equipped with seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) : electromagnetic detectors and particle and magnetic field detectors.

Four instruments will observe the Sun directly, and the other three will make particle and field measurements at the L1 Lagrange point, providing data on the propagation effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.


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