NEW DELHI: The Aditya-L1 spacecraft has travelled beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh kilometres from Earth, successfully escaping the sphere of our planet’s influence. It is now navigating its path towards the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1), the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said on Saturday.
“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,” said the space agency on X.

Isro’s Aditya-L1 mission, launched on September 2, 2023, is India’s first mission dedicated to studying the Sun, specifically the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona of Sun. It has 7 distinct payloads developed, all developed indigenously. Five by Isro and two by academic institutes in collaboration with the space agency.
Aditya-L1 will operate in a ‘Halo orbit’ around the Sun-Earth L1 point, located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, which is about 1% of the Earth-Sun distance.

Lagrange points, also known as libration points, are unique locations in space where the gravitational force of two massive bodies (like Sun and Earth) precisely equals the centripetal force required for a small object (like spacecraft) to move with them. This makes Lagrange points an excellent location for spacecrafts as orbit corrections and hence fuel requirements, needed to maintain the desired orbit, are kept at a minimum.
The Aditya-L1 mission has four main science objectives:

  • Understanding coronal heating and solar wind acceleration
  • Understanding initiation of Coronal Mass Ejection, flares and near-Earth space weather
  • To understand coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere
  • To understand solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy

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