Indian Spacecraft Successfully Launches Towards the Sun

India’s Aditya-L1 spacecraft successfully launched towards the Sun on Saturday (2/9) at 11:50 local time.

During the launch, the first three stages of separation were successfully completed, and the Aditya-L1 spacecraft is functioning normally. The spacecraft then shut off its thrusters and headed towards its initial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) position.

In a Twitter post on Saturday (2/9), Indian Minister of Transportation Nitin Gadkari praised the historic achievement of the Aditya-L1 solar mission in India.

“A historic achievement in the pursuit of science!” wrote Nitin Gadkari. “Thanks to the brilliant minds at ISRO who have made this mission a reality. Your dedication and expertise continue to inspire us all.”

“This is a bright future for solar exploration and innovative discoveries!” he continued.

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is an unmanned observation satellite intended to be used by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to monitor solar activity.

Additionally, the mission of this spacecraft is to further study how the activities of the sun impact space weather phenomena such as solar storms.

The launch took place at 11:50 local time from the space center in Sriharikota, southern India. This location was previously used for launching the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon.

According to The Independent, ISRO stated that Aditya, which means “Sun” in Hindi, will take about four months to reach its final position in a halo orbit around the Sun.

Initially, the spacecraft will enter a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) before taking a more elliptical path and ultimately using its onboard propulsion to push out to the region around the Sun known as Lagrange Point 1 (L1).

L1 is located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth and will allow Aditya to continuously and unobstructedly observe the Sun. This is expected to provide significant advantages for monitoring solar activity and its real-time impact on space weather.

The spacecraft carries seven instruments to observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and outermost layer of the Sun (corona) using electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors.