New Delhi: On Saturday, India’s space agency ISRO reported that its Aditya-L1 probe has travelled more than 9.2 million kilometres from the planet, thereby leaving the Earth’s gravitational pull behind.
The spaceship is now on its way to Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1), a key region around 1.5 million kilometres from our planet.
This is after a series of important manoeuvres performed by the spacecraft since September 19, which kicked off its 110-day trajectory to the target at the L1 Lagrange point, a gravitationally neutral position between the Earth and the Sun.
ISRO has now successfully launched two spacecraft into interplanetary orbit; the first being the Mars Orbiter Mission.
“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”, ISRO posted on their Twitter handle.
🔸The spacecraft has travelled beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh kilometres from Earth, successfully escaping the sphere of Earth’s influence. It is now navigating its path towards the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1).
🔸This is the second time in succession that…
— ISRO (@isro) September 30, 2023
India’s first solar observatory-class mission, Aditya-L1, launched on a PSLV-C57 rocket on September 2, 2023. It is outfitted with seven distinct instruments to learn more about the Sun in its many forms.
The Sun will be studied by four of these payloads, while plasma and magnetic field characteristics will be measured by the other three. The mission will investigate the Sun’s outer atmosphere, which is a massive disc of gas. It won’t make a landing on the Sun or go any closer to the star.
Aditya-L1 will be put in a halo orbit after it reaches the L1 point, always keeping the same distance from the Sun.
Due to its advantageous location, the spacecraft will be able to keep a constant eye on the Sun for the whole of its five-year mission, therefore gaining invaluable solar insights and considerably advancing our knowledge of solar physics and heliophysics.