(c) Reuters. ESA & NASA/Solar O
By Nivedita Bhattacharjee
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Following up on the success of India’s moon landing with the Chandrayaan-3, the country’s space agency was set to launch a rocket on Saturday to study the sun. ESA & NASA/Solar O
By Nivedita Bhattacharjee
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Following up on the success of India’s moon landing with the Chandrayaan-3, the country’s space agency was set to launch a rocket on Saturday to study the sun.
India’s first space-based solar probe aims to study solar winds, which can cause disturbance on earth commonly seen as auroras.
Named after the Hindi word for the sun, the Aditya-L1 is set to blast off at 11:50 a.m. (0620 GMT). The solar mission comes after India beat Russia to the south pole of moon late last month. While Russia had a more powerful rocket, India’s Chandrayaan-3 out-endured the Luna-25 to execute a textbook landing.
The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed to travel about 1.5 million km (930,000 miles) over four months to a kind of parking lot in space where objects tend to stay put because of balancing gravitational forces, reducing fuel consumption for the spacecraft.
Those positions are called Lagrange Points, named after Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange. The mission can make a big impact in terms of science, said Somak Raymondchaudhury who worked on the development of certain components of the observatory. “There have been instances when communications were disrupted because of a large corona emissions that hit a satellite. Scientists hope to learn more about the effect of solar radiation on the thousands of satellites in orbit, a number that is growing with the success Starlink communications network by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Scientists hope to learn more about the effect of solar radiation on the thousands of satellites in orbit, a number growing with the success of ventures like the Starlink communications network of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
“The low earth orbit has been heavily polluted due to private participation, so understanding how to safeguard satellites there will have special importance in today’s space environment,” said Rama Rao Nidamanuri, head of the department of earth and space sciences at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.
Longer term, data from the mission could help better understand the sun’s impact on earth’s climate patterns and the origins of solar wind, the stream of particles that flow from the sun through the solar system, scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have said.
Pushed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has privatised space launches and is looking to open the sector to foreign investment as it targets a five-fold increase in its share of the global launch market within the next decade.
As space turns into a global business, the country is also banking on the success of ISRO to showcase its prowess in the sector.