Amaravati: The country’s first solar mission, Aditya L-1 will be launched today. The launch will take place at 11.50 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. Aditya L-1 will be carried into orbit by ISRO’s trusted launch vehicle PSLV’s C57 rocket.
ISRO Chief S Somanath said yesterday the countdown for the Aditya-L1 launch has started. “We are just getting ready for the launch. The rocket and satellite are ready. We completed the rehearsal for the launch,” he said.
The Aditya-L1 spacecraft has been meticulously crafted for the primary purpose of conducting remote observations of the solar corona and gathering in situ data on the solar wind at the L1 point, also known as the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point, situated approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth. This mission marks a significant milestone as it represents India’s inaugural dedicated space endeavor aimed at studying the Sun and is being spearheaded by the space agency headquartered in Bengaluru.
Aditya L-1 carries seven payloads for studying the Sun. All payloads are indigenously developed in collaboration with various ISRO centres. Four of these will monitor light from the Sun, while the other three will conduct studies of the Sun’s plasma and magnetosphere. The probe’s main payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), will capture 1440 images per day and send them to the ground station.
The VELC is the largest and most important payload on the Aditya L-1. The payload is developed at the Center for Research and Education in Science Technology Campus of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, in collaboration with ISRO. Aditya L-1 will send one image to Earth every minute. In this way, the probe will send 1,440 images to Earth in 24 hours.
The probe will reach its destination by January. It is estimated that the first pictures will be available by the end of February.