ISRO's Aditya-L1 Solar Mission successfully completes TL1I maneuver, begins collecting scientific data

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ISRO's Aditya-L1 Solar Mission successfully completes TL1I maneuver, begins collecting scientific data (Image: X/isro)
ISRO's Aditya-L1 Solar Mission successfully completes TL1I maneuver, begins collecting scientific data (Image: X/isro)

New Delhi : In a significant development, the Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO) announced on Tuesday that its groundbreaking solar mission, Aditya-L1, has accomplished the Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver with resounding success. The spacecraft is now positioned on a trajectory destined for the Sun-Earth L1 point. This remarkable achievement marks ISRO's fifth consecutive successful mission in transferring an object to another celestial body or location in space.

The official ISRO social media handle on platform X conveyed the news, stating, "Aditya-L1 Mission | En Route to Sun-Earth L1 Point | The Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver executed flawlessly."

Following the TL1I maneuver, Aditya-L1 is set to enter orbit around L1 through a subsequent maneuver, expected to occur after approximately 110 days. This accomplishment adds to ISRO's growing reputation for precise interplanetary navigation and mission execution.

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft commenced its journey when it was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Station located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

India's maiden solar mission, Aditya-L1, has a primary mission objective of gathering crucial scientific data. This mission represents a significant stride in India's ongoing efforts to explore and study the Sun's intricacies.

ISRO had previously announced, "Aditya-L1 Mission: Aditya-L1 has initiated the collection of scientific data. The sensors of the STEPS instrument have commenced measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions and electrons at distances exceeding 50,000 km from Earth. This data aids scientists in comprehending the behavior of particles enveloping Earth. The accompanying figure illustrates fluctuations in the energetic particle environment, recorded by one of the instrument's units."

The Supra Thermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) instrument, an integral component of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX) payload, has initiated its data-gathering operations.

STEPS, equipped with six sensors oriented in various directions, is tasked with measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions, ranging from 20 keV/nucleon to 5 MeV/nucleon, as well as electrons exceeding 1 MeV. These precise measurements are pivotal in comprehending the behavior of particles in the vicinity of Earth, particularly within the influence of Earth's magnetic field.

The activation of STEPS took place on September 10, at a distance surpassing 50,000 km from Earth, equivalent to over eight times the Earth's radius. After undergoing essential instrument health checks, the process of data collection has continued as the spacecraft moves further beyond the 50,000 km mark from Earth.

All units of STEPS are operating well within expected parameters, and the provided figure showcases measurements that depict variations in the energetic particle environment within Earth's magnetosphere, recorded by one of the instrument's units.

These invaluable measurements will persist throughout the cruise phase of the Aditya-L1 mission as it advances towards its ultimate destination, the Sun-Earth L1 point. They will offer essential insights into the origin, acceleration, and anisotropy of solar wind and space weather phenomena.

The development and deployment of STEPS were achieved through collaborative efforts, with the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) leading the way and receiving support from the Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad. This highlights India's burgeoning expertise in space science and technology, further establishing its position in the global space exploration arena.