India’s 1st Solar Probe Aditya-L1 Enters Halo Orbit

Space Tech Today, January 7th – The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has proudly announced that its first solar mission, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, has reached its intended orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1), situated in a Halo Orbit approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, with an orbital period of roughly 177.86 Earth days.

A Halo Orbit is a periodic three-dimensional orbit around the L1 point, designed to ensure a mission lifespan of 5 years with minimal station-keeping maneuvers, therefore substantially decreasing fuel consumption while ensuring constant, unobstructed views of the Sun.

The mission of Aditya-L1 is to continuously “observe and understand the dynamics of the Sun’s chromosphere and corona,” with scientific objectives that include studying coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, coronal mass ejection, solar atmosphere dynamics, and thermal anisotropy.

The Aditya-L1 carries a total of 7 payloads, with Space Tech Today noting that 4 of these are dedicated to remote sensing of the Sun, and 3 are for in-situ observations. These utilize electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors to study the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layer, the corona.

Four of the payloads are aimed directly at observing the Sun, while the remaining three study the particles and fields at the L1 point to provide important scientific insights into the propagation effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

Named after the Hindi word for the Sun, Aditya-L1 was successfully launched on September 2nd, 2023. By November 7th of the same year, the HEL1OS (High Energy X-ray Spectrometer) onboard Aditya-L1 achieved a significant milestone by capturing the high-energy X-rays from a solar flare, signaling the early success of its mission.

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