The launch of India’s first solar mission, which had been postponed until the third quarter of 2022 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is expected to coincide with the launch of Xposat, the country’s second space observatory, which will aid astronomers in studying cosmic sources such as pulsars and supernova.
Dr Unnikrishnan Nair, director of the Human Spaceflight Center, said this week at a conference about the scientific missions: “The solar mission Aditya L1 will be launched in the third quarter of next year (2022) and will provide more insights in
Dr Unnikrishnan Nair, director of the Human Spaceflight Center, said at a conference this week that the solar mission Aditya L1 will be launched in the third quarter of next year (2022) and will provide more insights into the origin of the universe and many other unknowns.
Where will the Aditya L1 mission go?
The Aditya L1 mission’s spacecraft will be sent 1.5 million kilometres from Earth to L1 Lagrangian, a point between the Earth and the Sun where the gravitational pull of both bodies on the satellite is equal to the centripetal force required to keep the satellite in orbit. It resembles a parking lot in outer space and is ideal for observing. Since it’s like having a parking lot in outer space, you can observe a wide range of natural phenomena there without being bothered by eclipses.
The space agency’s next year’s other scientific mission is Xposat. It will be launched on a small satellite launch vehicle that is still under development. The new launch vehicle will most likely fly for the first time in December of this year. After two successful test flights, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) declares a launch vehicle to be mission-ready.
“With Xposat, we’ll be able to examine the polarisation of celestial events.” The SSLV, which is still in development, will be used to launch it. The first test flight will take place before the end of the year. “Academicians are eagerly awaiting the results of this mission,” Nair said.
When it comes to small satellite launches, the SSLV, which is being developed for commercial use, costs just $30 million instead of $100 million (PSLV). Six scientists can put together the SSLV in seven days, whereas 600 people need several months to put together the PSLV.
Effects of the pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the number of launches that ISRO could make in 2020 and 2021. There have been only four launches in the last two years, one of which was purely commercial and carried an earth observation satellite from Brazil named Amazonia-1 as its primary payload.
As a result of the pandemic, the space agency had originally planned 20 launches in 2020-21, one of which was the Gaganyaan mission’s first unmanned flight. The Gaganyaan mission will most likely be launched by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.
First Indian mission to study the Sun, Aditya – L1
According to initial plans, Aditya-1 would be a 400kg class satellite carrying the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and launch in an 800 km low earth orbit. The major advantage of a satellite in the Sun-Earth system’s Lagrangian point 1 (L1) halo orbit is the ability to view the Sun continuously without being obscured by occultation or eclipse. It is for this reason that the Aditya-1 mission has been renamed the “Aditya-L1 mission” and is set to be placed in an Earth-halo orbit 1.5 million kilometres from the L1. Another six scientific payloads have been added to the satellite’s arsenal.
Aditya-1 was designed solely to observe the solar corona. The Sun’s outermost layers, which extend thousands of kilometres above the disc. The corona refers to the Sun’s outermost layers, which extend thousands of kilometres above the photosphere (disc). Over one million degrees Kelvin hotter than the solar disc’s 6000 degrees Kelvin temperature. Solar physicists are still baffled as to how the corona can reach such extreme temperatures.
Additions to Aditya-experiments L1’s enable it to observe the Sun’s Corona (in visible and near-infrared light), Chromosphere (ultraviolet radiation), and Photosphere (visible and infrared emission lines) (broadband filters). Particle payloads will investigate the Sun’s particle flux as it reaches the L1 orbit, and the magnetometer payload will measure the variation in magnetic field strength in the L1 halo orbit. These payloads had to be placed far enough away from the Earth’s magnetic field to be of any use in low Earth orbit.
The coronagraph, which has improved capabilities, remains the primary payload. The experiment’s primary optics have not changed.