India’s first solar mission, which was pushed from early 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is likely to be launched in the third quarter of 2022, when the country’s second space observatory Xposat, aimed at helping astronomers study cosmic sources such as pulsars and supernova, will also be launched, senior officials from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Talking about the purely scientific missions at a conference this week, the director of the human spaceflight centre, Dr Unnikrishnan Nair, said, “The solar mission Aditya L1 will be launched in the third quarter of next year (2022) and will provide more insights into the origin of the universe and many other unknowns.”
The spacecraft in the Aditya L1 mission will be sent 1.5 million km away from the Earth to L1 Lagrangian, a point between the Earth and the Sun where the gravitational pull of both the bodies on the satellite is equal to the centripetal force needed to keep the satellite in orbit. It is like a parking area in space and is great for observing several phenomena without hindrances from eclipses.
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