After the success of its mission to the Moon, India launched a rocket to study the Sun. The launch of the Aditya-L1 satellite took place last Saturday (2) and the equipment was placed in orbit, as intended.
The responsible team, which is part of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), expects the spacecraft to remain in Earth orbit for 16 days before starting the maneuvers that will take it to the beginning of its trajectory, of 110 days, to the destination.
Scientists intend to place the satellite into orbit at the Lagrange 1 (L1) point of the Sun-Earth system. That means a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from our planet and 1% of the total Sun-Earth distance.
According to the official statement released by ISRO, “L1 is a place in space where the gravitational forces of two celestial bodies, such as the Sun and Earth, are in balance. This allows an object placed there to remain relatively stable relative to both celestial bodies.”
What is the objective of the mission?
The mission’s main objective is to study solar winds, which can cause disturbances on Earth, commonly seen as auroras.
According to ISRO, the location where the satellite will be placed will ensure a constant and uninterrupted view of the Sun.
“The spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere and outermost layers (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors,” the statement said.
The mission could cause a “big bang in terms of science”, said Somak Raychaudhury, who participated in the development of some components of the observatory, adding that the energy particles emitted by the Sun can reach satellites that control communications on Earth.
“There have been episodes where main communications have gone down because a satellite has been hit by a large corona emission. Satellites in low Earth orbit are the main focus of global private players, which makes the Aditya L1 mission a very important project,” he said in an interview published by Reuters agency.
The researchers believe the mission’s data could help better understand the Sun’s impact on Earth’s weather patterns and the origins of the solar wind, the flow of particles flowing from the Sun through the solar system.
Faced with the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has privatized space launches and intends to open the sector to foreign investment. The Asian country’s goal is to increase its share of the global launch market by five times over the next decade.
As space exploration becomes a global business — with countries even investing in space tourism — India is also betting on ISRO’s success to demonstrate its capabilities.
SEE ALSO – India becomes the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon
Source: CNN Brasil
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