Deccan Chronicle

Aditya-L1 journeying to Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: September 19, 2023 | Updated on: September 19, 2023
Aditya L1 / ISRO

Aditya L1 / ISRO

TIRUPATI: India's pioneering Space-based solar observatory, Aditya-L1, has embarked on a journey to the Lagrange Point 1 (L1) set along the Sun-Earth line.
National Space agency ISRO has successfully executed the trans-Lagrangian 1 insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre in the early hours of Tuesday. The data collected around L1 would provide insights into the origin, acceleration, anisotropy of solar wind and space weather phenomena, ISRO said.

The TL1 manoeuvres mark the commencement of Aditya-L1’s 110-day voyage to the Lagrange Point 1 (L1), situated approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, a mere 1 per cent of the distance between Earth and the Sun.
The TL1I manoeuvre, a complex celestial ballet, is essential to align Aditya-L1's trajectory with this unique point in Space.

"Off to Sun-Earth L1 point! The Trans Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver is performed successfully. The spacecraft is now on a trajectory that will take it to the Sun-Earth L1 point. It will be injected into an orbit around L1 through a maneuver after about 110 days. This is the fifth consecutive time ISRO has successfully transferred an object on a trajectory toward another celestial body or location in Space", ISRO posted on its official ‘X’ account.

In a related development, ISRO announced on Monday that the Supra Thermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) instrument, a crucial component of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload, had commenced the collection of scientific data.

Developed by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) with support from the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad, STEPS comprises six sensors, each doing the observations in different directions and measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions ranging from 20 keV/nucleon to 5 MeV/nucleon, as well as electrons exceeding 1 MeV.
These measurements are conducted using low and high-energy particle spectrometers, providing invaluable insights into the behaviour of particles surrounding Earth, particularly in the presence of Earth's magnetic field.

"STEPS was activated on Sept 10, 2023, at a distance more than 50,000km from Earth. This distance is equivalent to more than 8 times the Earth's radius, placing it well beyond Earth's radiation belt region. After completing the necessary instrument health checks, data collection continued until the spacecraft moved farther than 50,000km from Earth. Each unit of STEPS is operating within normal parameters," ISRO stated.

According to ISRO, one of the units of STEPS has already provided a figure displaying measurements depicting variations in the energetic particle environment within Earth's magnetosphere. These measurements will persist during the cruise phase of the Aditya-L1 mission as it progresses toward the Sun-Earth L1 point. These will continue once the spacecraft is positioned in its intended orbit.


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