ISRO's Aditya L1 mission has achieved a significant milestone by successfully completing its fourth Earthbound burn, effectively extending its orbital path. This marks a crucial step for India's inaugural heliophysics observatory, which is on track to reach its designated destination at the first Lagrange point within the Sun-Earth system. Aditya L1 is poised to enter a prime orbit that will afford it an uninterrupted vantage point for observing the Sun.
The Aditya L1 spacecraft, developed by ISRO, has triumphantly executed its fourth powered Earth flyby. The forthcoming ignition of its engines will signify its departure from Earth's gravitational embrace, embarking on a remarkable journey covering four times the distance to the Moon en route to the first Lagrange point in the Sun-Earth system. The sequence of Earthbound maneuvers commenced immediately after its launch, with the first maneuver conducted on September 3, 2023, followed by the second on September 5, 2023, and the third on September 10, 2023. The eagerly anticipated next burn is scheduled for September 19, 2023.
Aditya L1 represents ISRO's pioneering venture into heliophysics research, boasting an array of seven specialized instruments designed to unravel the enigmatic aspects of our Sun. This spacecraft will employ high-intensity light to scrutinize the Sun's various layers, including the photosphere (surface), chromosphere (atmosphere), and the solar corona (outer atmosphere). Among the solar phenomena under Aditya L1's scrutiny is the perplexing process of heat injection into the corona, a region with temperatures soaring to a million degrees higher than the Sun's surface. This curious phenomenon can be likened to a candle growing hotter as one moves away from it.
Aditya L1 is charting a course toward a designated orbit around the first Lagrange point, ensconced within the Sun-Earth system. This location resides in a region of gravitational equilibrium, where the gravitational forces of the Sun and Earth perfectly balance each other, enabling the spacecraft to maintain its position with minimal fuel consumption. Notably, Aditya L1 will enjoy a continuous, unobstructed view of the Sun from this vantage point, free from concerns of occultations or eclipses. Although the spacecraft has completed the bulk of its Earthbound maneuvers, it still faces a journey spanning three and a half months before assuming its position for continuous monitoring of solar activity.