Astronomers hold a profound fascination with asteroids. These remnants are a relic from the formation of the solar system around 4.5 billion years ago, emerging from the collapse of a dust and gas cloud into a disc that eventually shaped the sun and its planets
Aditya-L1, India’s space-based solar observatory will be given a final send off towards the Sun on September 19 when the spacecraft will be maneuvered to Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion (TL1I), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Friday.
The fourth Earth-bound maneuver was performed successfully at 2.15 a.m. on Friday said ISRO,
“ISRO’s ground stations at Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR and Port Blair tracked the satellite during this operation, while a transportable terminal currently stationed in the Fiji islands for Aditya-L1 will support post-burn operations,” the space agency said.
According to ISRO, the new orbit attained is 256 km x 121973 km.
The Aditya-L1 is India’s space based solar observatory which was orbited in low earth orbit (LEO) September 2 by an Indian rocket called Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle–XL (PSLV-XL) variant. The spacecraft’s orbit has been raised by ISRO four times since then.
As the spacecraft travels towards Lagrange Point (L1), it will exit the earth’s gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI).
After exit from SOI, the cruise phase will start and subsequently the spacecraft will be injected into a large halo orbit around the L1 — the point where the gravitational pull of two large bodies – Sun and Earth – will be equal and hence the spacecraft will not gravitate towards any one of the planet.
The total travel time from launch to L1 would take about four months for Aditya-L1 and the distance will be about 1.5 million km from the Earth.