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Aditya-L1 Mission

  May 24, 2021

Aditya-L1 Mission

Q Why is it in News? 

  • ARIES facility (Aryabhata Research Institute for Observational Sciences) will host the support centre for Aditya-L1 mission, which is due to be launched next year (2022).
  • ARIES is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology and is located in Nainital (Uttarakhand).

Q What is Aditya-L1 Mission?  

  • It is India’s first scientific expedition to study the Sun. It will be ISRO’s(Indian Space Research Organisation) second space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat, which was launched in 2015.
  • ISRO categorises Aditya L1 as a 400 kg-class satellite that will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in XL configuration.
  • It will be inserted in a halo orbit around the L1 (Lagrangian point 1), which is 1.5 million km from the Earth.
  • The space-based observatory will have seven payloads (instruments) on board to study the Sun’s corona, solar emissions, solar winds and flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and will carry out round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.

Q What is Aditya-L1 Support Centre (ASC)?  

  • The main aim of this centre is to let every researcher in India perform analysis over scientific data obtained from Aditya-L1. It will expand the visibility of Aditya-L1 beyond India at the international level.
  • It will host a compendium of the location and duration of different features on the solar surface such as coronal holes, prominences, flares, CMEs and sunspots.
  • Continuous monitoring of the location and duration of these features will help in monitoring the Earth directed CMEs and thereby, the space weather.

Q What are some of the challenges in launching of the Mission? 

  • The distance of the Sun from Earth (approximately 15 crore kms on average, compared to the only 3.84 lakh kms to the Moon). This huge distance poses a scientific challenge.
  • Aditya L1 will have some moving components which increases the risks of collision.
  • Due to the risks involved, payloads in earlier ISRO missions have largely remained stationary in space.
  • Other issues are the superhot temperatures and radiation in the solar atmosphere.
  • However, Aditya L1 will stay much farther away, and the heat is not expected to be a major concern for the instruments on board.