On September 30, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that its Aditya-L1 spacecraft had successfully exited Earth’s sphere of influence and is now on course for the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1).
ISRO shared this achievement on its X account (formerly known as Twitter), stating, “The spacecraft has traveled beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh kilometers from Earth, successfully leaving the sphere of Earth’s influence. It is now en route to the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1).”
ISRO noted that this marks the second instance in which the space agency has sent a spacecraft beyond Earth’s sphere of influence, with the first being the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan).
The Aditya-L1 orbiter was launched aboard the PSLV-C57.1 rocket on September 2 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This launch came shortly after ISRO’s historic lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3.
ISRO anticipates that the Aditya-L1 mission will reach its observation point in approximately four months. It will be positioned in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), situated 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the direction of the Sun.
The spacecraft is equipped with seven distinct payloads designed for solar study. Four of these payloads will observe sunlight, while the remaining three will measure in-situ parameters of plasma and magnetic fields.
The primary objectives of India’s solar mission include studying the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanisms, solar wind acceleration, the coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, and the origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and solar flares, as well as their impact on near-Earth space weather.