The main goal is to study the sun’s outer layers, delve into its physics and movements, and enhance our space weather knowledge.
Chandrayaan-3: India’s Moon Mission
The Indian Space Research Agency (ISRO) leads the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Its goal? Landing a spacecraft on the moon’s south pole. This area is rich in water ice, which could be a future source of oxygen, fuel, and water. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, about 2 meters tall and weighing over 1,700 kg, carries a 26 kg lunar rover. The mission launched on July 14 from Andhra Pradesh. If successful, it will run tests for two weeks, including a moon mineralogy spectrometer analysis. This mission follows the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 attempt, which crashed. A successful Chandrayaan-3 would make India the fourth country to land on the moon, after the USSR, the USA, and China.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is India’s premier space agency, responsible for the nation’s forays into space exploration and satellite deployment. Established in 1969, ISRO’s primary objective has been to harness space technology for India’s development and to conduct research in space science and planetary exploration. Over the years, ISRO has achieved numerous milestones, including the development of indigenous satellites, launch vehicles, and significant missions like the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) and the Chandrayaan missions to the moon.
ISRO’s achievements are not just limited to scientific exploration; they have practical implications for the country in areas like telecommunications, Earth observation, and meteorology. The organization has been lauded for accomplishing its goals efficiently and often at a fraction of the cost compared to other major space agencies. With a vision to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration,” ISRO continues to push the boundaries of space research and exploration, positioning India as a significant player in the global space community.
India’s Solar Mission: Aditya L1
India started its first solar mission to study the sun’s outer layers. This move followed India’s successful moon rover landing. The Aditya L1 spacecraft, weighing around 3,300 pounds, will travel about 930,000 miles in four months. It will then orbit for years, sending data to Earth. The spacecraft aims to study the sun’s outer layers, especially its chromosphere and corona.
After the launch, Nigar Shaji, the project’s director, shared her happiness about Aditya L1’s perfect orbit entry. She praised the mission for its contribution to India’s heliophysics and global science. As Aditya L1 starts its 125-day trip to L1, many, including students, saw the launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh.
India’s Space Achievements
Last month, India became the fourth country to land on the moon with its Chandrayaan 3. This success came after Chandrayaan 2’s 2019 failure and a Russian spacecraft crash. India’s space feats show its growing global influence. ISRO achieved its goals on a smaller budget than many space nations.
Aditya L1: A New Solar Probe
Aditya L1 joins a list of sun probes, with past missions led by NASA, the European space agency, China, and Japan. The spacecraft has seven payloads, including remote sensing instruments. It will soon enter a unique halo orbit, the Lagrange point 1 (L1), giving a clear sun view.
In today’s space race era, understanding space weather is crucial for planning and protecting satellites. Indian scientists believe Aditya L1 will help understand space weather disturbances from solar energy. Dr. Annapurni Subramaniam, from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, highlighted the spacecraft’s data value. Her team created a key payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph, to detect sun corona emission lines. She compared the tool to a continuous solar eclipse, vital for studying the sun’s corona.