After successful Moon landing, ISRO now eyes Sun with Aditya-L1 mission

After the successful soft-landing of India's lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 on the south polar region of the Moon on August 23, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now eyeing the Sun.

Aditya-L1 spacecraft has been designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona. Photo courtesy: Pixabay

Aditya-L1, India's first space observatory for solar research, is getting ready for launch from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota launchpad, and ISRO is expected to make an announcement about this within a couple of days.

The event is expected to take place in the first week of September, with the space agency targeting a September 2 launch.

Solar spacecraft to study solar atmosphere

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft has been designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona and study the solar atmosphere. It will extensively study the solar winds, which can cause disturbance on Earth and are commonly seen as "auroras".

In the long term, the objective of the mission is to use the solar data to help better understand the Sun's impact on Earth's climate patterns.

ISRO has said, "The spacecraft shall be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses. This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time."

Aditya-L1 has been built at nearly half the cost of Chandrayaan-3, reports said.

The success of Chandrayaan-3 has made India the fourth country to master the technology of soft landing on the lunar surface after the US, China, and the erstwhile Soviet Union. 

However, India became the first country to reach the south pole of the Moon.