Aditya-L1 Completes Fourth Earth-Bound Manoeuvre

TIRUPATI: The Aditya-L1 mission, India's pioneering solar observation venture, has achieved another critical milestone with the successful execution of its fourth Earth-bound manoeuvre on Friday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) reported that the the EBN#4 manoeuvre has placed Aditya-L1 into a new orbit, admeasuring 256 km x 121973 km. The announcement was made through a post on its official ‘X’ platform, highlighting the cooperation of ground stations in Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR and Port Blair in manoeuvring the satellite during the operation.

Additionally, a transportable terminal located in the Fiji Island is supporting the post-burn operations for Aditya-L1.

The next major manoeuvre, the Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion (TL1I), is scheduled for September 19 around 0200hrs IST. This would mark the departure of the spacecraft from Earth's orbit, setting it on the trajectory towards its destination, approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth at the Sun-Earth Lagrangian Point 1 (L1).

The successful completion of the first, second, third and fourth Earth-bound manoeuvres on September 3, 5, 10 and 15 respectively was a crucial prelude for the spacecraft to gain the necessary velocity for its journey to L1.

Having completed four Earth-bound orbital manoeuvres, Aditya-L1 is ready to embark on a nearly 110-day trajectory to reach its destination. Upon arrival, another manoeuvre will bind the Aditya-L1 to an orbit around L1, a gravitational point of balance between Earth and the Sun.

The satellite will conduct its mission by moving around L1 in an irregularly shaped orbit, nearly perpendicular to the line connecting Earth and the Sun.

Aditya-L1, which would study the Sun from a halo orbit around the first Sun-Earth L1 point, was successfully launched on Sept 2, using ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C57 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. After a flight duration of 63 minutes and 20 seconds, it was injected into an elliptical orbit of 235x19500 km around Earth.

Aditya-L1 will eventually be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1) in the direction of the Sun. This journey is expected to take approximately four months. Its position, 1.5 million km away from Earth but directed toward the Sun, will allow Aditya-L1 to study the outer atmosphere of the Sun.

The mission carries seven scientific payloads, which observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and Sun's outermost layers, the corona, using electromagnetic particle and magnetic field detectors.

Notably, Aditya-L1 will not land on the Sun or approach it any closer. Instead, its strategic location will enable continuous observation of the Sun, free from eclipses or occultation, facilitating real-time study of solar activities and their impact on space weather.

The data collected by the spacecraft will also help scientists understand the processes leading to solar eruptive events and contribute to a deeper understanding of space weather drivers.

The primary objectives of India's solar mission include studying the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism, solar wind acceleration, the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution, temperature anisotropy and the origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares, along with near-Earth space weather.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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