The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) announced early Tuesday that Aditya L1, the country’s first solar mission, has completed the second Earth-bound manoeuvre successfully. The operation was carried out by the space agency’s Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC).
“The second Earth-bound manoeuvre (EBN#2) is successfully completed from ISTRAC, Bengaluru.” During this operation, the satellite was tracked by ISTRAC/Isro ground stations in Mauritius, Bengaluru, and Port Blair. “The new orbit achieved is 282 km x 40,225 km,” Isro announced on X.
According to Isro, the next manoeuvre is slated for September 10 at 2:30 a.m. On September 3, Aditya L1 successfully completed its maiden Earth-bound manoeuvre. The spacecraft will perform two more earthbound orbital manoeuvres before entering the transfer orbit towards the Sun-Earth system’s Lagrange point L1, which is approximately 1.5 million kilometres away. This site offers a clear and uninterrupted view of the Sun, making it an ideal location for solar observation. After approximately 127 days, Aditya L1 is scheduled to arrive at its intended orbit at the L1 point.
On September 2, Aditya L1 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The spacecraft, weighing 1,472 kg, was launched into space by ISRO’s most reliable and adaptable workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in ‘XL’ configuration.
The Aditya L1 mission’s primary goal is to investigate the Sun’s top atmospheric layers, specifically the chromosphere and corona. The mission will also study coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are enormous expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun’s corona, as well as the corona’s magnetic field, which is the driving force behind space weather.
The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VLEC) studies the solar corona, the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) captures UV images of the solar photosphere and chromosphere, and the Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) and High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) analyzes X-ray flares.