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  • Voltaire Staff

India's Sun mission Aditya-L1 reaches final orbit

India's mission to study the Sun, Aditya-L1, successfully entered the Halo-Orbit on Saturday, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.

In a significant achievement for the nation, the solar observatory spacecraft Aditya-L1 entered the targeted orbit at 4 pm Saturday.

The final phase of the precise orbital adjustment involved a brief activation of control engines.

Aditya-L1 now follows a periodic Halo orbit situated approximately 1.5 million km from Earth along the Sun-Earth line, with an orbital period of around 177.86 Earth days.

According to ISRO, the Halo orbit, involving the Sun, Earth, and the spacecraft, has been chosen to optimise the mission's operational lifespan to five years.

The strategic placement minimises the need for frequent station-keeping manoeuvres, reducing fuel consumption and ensuring an uninterrupted view of the Sun.

A halo orbit is a specific type of three-dimensional orbit that occurs in the context of celestial mechanics, involving three bodies – in this case, the Sun, Earth, and a spacecraft. The Aditya-L1 is placed in the halo orbit around the first Lagrangian point (L1).

After the success, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, "Today's event was only placing the Aditya-L1 in the precise Halo orbit. So it was moving towards a high orbit, but we had to do a little bit of corrections... So right now, in our calculation, it is at the right place."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on the achievement and wrote on X, "India creates yet another landmark. India's first solar observatory Aditya-L1 reaches its destination. It is a testament to the relentless dedication of our scientists in realising among the most complex and intricate space missions. I join the nation in applauding this extraordinary feat. We will continue to pursue new frontiers of science for the benefit of humanity."

The Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh also took to X, and said, "From Moon walk to Sun Dance! What a glorious turn of year for Bharat! Under the visionary leadership of PM @narendramodi, yet another success story scripted by Team #ISRO. #AdityaL1 reaches its final orbit to discover the mysteries of Sun-Earth connection."

Aditya-L1, launched aboard PSLV-C57 on September 2, aims to conduct a thorough study of the solar atmosphere, particularly focusing on the chromosphere and corona.

The mission seeks to provide insights into solar phenomena, including coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar flares, and the intriguing heating mechanisms of the solar corona.

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