India’s inaugural solar mission, Aditya-L1, is edging closer to its much-anticipated launch, as confirmed by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). This Sun observatory mission is poised for liftoff from the spaceport at 11:50 am on Saturday, following India’s successful lunar expedition, Chandrayaan-3.
Live Launch Broadcast:
The countdown initiation was announced via ISRO’s update on X, formerly known as Twitter. The countdown, spanning 23 hours and 40 minutes, commenced at 12:10 pm.
ISRO Chairman S. Somanath had previously stated that the mission is expected to take 125 days to reach its designated orbit.
Aditya-L1 has been meticulously designed to facilitate remote observations of the solar corona, as well as in situ observations of the solar wind, all from its perch at L1, the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point situated approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
This ambitious mission, Aditya-L1, is equipped with seven payloads to scrutinize the photosphere, chromosphere, and the corona— the Sun’s outermost layers—in various wavebands. It stands as a testament to India’s indigenous capabilities, with the active involvement of national institutions, according to an ISRO spokesperson.
Notable contributions include the leadership of the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in developing the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) payload, and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, which crafted the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) payload.
Aditya-L1’s capabilities encompass the provision of insights into the corona, solar chromosphere via the UV payload, and monitoring solar flares through the X-ray payloads. Additionally, the mission’s particle detectors and magnetometer payload are poised to supply valuable information regarding charged particles and the magnetic field, all within the halo orbit encircling L1.