India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has recently announced its next mission following the successful moon landing of Chandrayaan-3. The upcoming mission, called Aditya-L1, will be India’s first space-based solar probe and aims to study the sun.
Scheduled for launch in the first week of September from Sriharikota, the country’s main spaceport, Aditya-L1 will embark on a mission to study solar winds. These solar winds, which can cause disturbances on Earth and often result in mesmerizing auroras, are widely regarded as a fascinating cosmic phenomenon.
By studying solar winds, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of their impact on Earth’s climate patterns. This valuable data could provide crucial insights into the sun’s influence on our planet and ultimately aid in the development of effective measures to mitigate any potential adverse effects.
To achieve its goals, Aditya-L1 will travel a staggering 1.5 million kilometers over a period of approximately four months. The mission will utilize India’s reliable Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch vehicle to transport the spacecraft. Additionally, Aditya-L1 will reach a Lagrange Point, a stable gravitational position in space, in order to minimize fuel consumption.
The Aditya-L1 mission was approved by the Indian government in 2019, with a budget equivalent to $46 million. The cost competitiveness of India’s space agency has been well-established, and this mission further exemplifies their ability to achieve ambitious goals while remaining fiscally responsible.
The success of Chandrayaan-3, which had a budget of approximately $75 million, highlights India’s growing prowess in the field of space exploration. With each mission, India’s space agency is proving its capabilities and bolstering the country’s aspirations to boost the privatized space industry.
As preparations for the Aditya-L1 mission continue, scientists and space enthusiasts eagerly await the valuable data it will gather about our closest star, the sun. The insights gained from this mission will undoubtedly contribute to our understanding of the sun’s behavior and its impact on Earth, ultimately benefiting the scientific community and global population as a whole.