Aditya-L1 completes first halo orbit, continues solar observations

Aditya-L1 completes first halo orbit, continues solar observations

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 3 JULY: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced a significant milestone for its Aditya-L1 mission, India’s solar observatory. The spacecraft has successfully completed its first halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1), marking a crucial step in its mission to study the Sun.

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Launched into low Earth orbit (LEO) on September 2 of last year by the PSLV-XL rocket, Aditya-L1 was inserted into its targeted halo orbit on January 6, 2024. The Sun-Earth L1 point is a unique position where the gravitational forces of the Sun and Earth are equal, allowing the spacecraft to maintain a stable orbit without drifting towards either body.

To complete a revolution around the L1 point, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft took 178 days, according to ISRO. During this period, the spacecraft faced various perturbing forces that attempted to deviate it from its intended orbit. To counteract these forces and maintain its trajectory, Aditya-L1 underwent two station-keeping maneuvers on February 22 and June 7.

On Tuesday, ISRO conducted a third station-keeping maneuver to ensure the spacecraft’s continued stability. Following this maneuver, Aditya-L1 has transitioned into its second halo orbit path around the L1 point.

“This journey of Aditya-L1 around Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point involves modeling of complex dynamics. The understanding of various perturbing forces acting on the spacecraft helped in determining the trajectory accurately and planning precise orbit maneuvers,” stated ISRO officials. The third maneuver also validated the state-of-the-art flight dynamics software developed in-house at URSC-ISRO for the Aditya-L1 missions.

Aditya-L1 is equipped with seven payloads designed to observe the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and outermost layers (the corona) using electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors. These observations will provide valuable insights into solar activities and their effects on space weather.

The successful completion of the first halo orbit and the precise execution of orbit maneuvers highlight ISRO’s growing capabilities in space exploration and its commitment to advancing scientific knowledge of our solar system.

Tags: #AdityaL1 #FirstHaloOrbit #ISRO

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