ISRO’s Aditya L1 travels over 9.2 lakh (.92 million) kilometres, exits Earth’s gravity

India's solar mission, Aditya L1, launched by space organisation ISRO on 2 September, 2023, has travelled beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh (0.92 million) kilometres from Earth and has moved out of the planet's gravitational pull.

India's solar mission, Aditya L1, has travelled beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh km from Earth and has moved out of the Earth's gravitational pull. Image Credit: ISRO

The spacecraft is currently on course toward the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1), as confirmed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday (September 30).

“This is the second time in succession that ISRO could send a spacecraft outside the sphere of influence of the Earth, the first time being the Mars Orbiter Mission,” the Indian space agency said in a post on social media platform X.

Days after executing a crucial manoeuvre on September 19, the spacecraft embarked on a 110-day trajectory towards its destination around the L1 Lagrange point.

“Off to Sun-Earth L1 point! The Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre 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,” ISRO had tweeted.

Positioned approximately 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, the L1 point is a strategically balanced gravitational spot between the Earth and the Sun.

Aditya L1, India's pioneering space-based observatory focused on solar studies, will meticulously examine the Sun's outer atmosphere.

It's important to note that the spacecraft will not make contact with or get closer to the Sun.

Since its launch from Sriharikota, Aditya-L1 underwent four Earth-bound manoeuvres on September 3, 5, 10, and 15, acquiring the necessary velocity for its onward journey to L1.