Talking to reporters, ISRO chief S Somanath said the Aditya-L1 mission will be launched at 11.50am on Saturday, September 2.
S Somanath of the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO visited the Sri Chengalamma Parameshwari temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Sullurpeta on Friday, a day before the launch of the Aditya-L1 solar mission, and prayed for its success. Somanath visited the temple at 7.30am and offered prayers to the deity, said a temple official, news agency PTI reported.
Talking to reporters, the ISRO chief said the Aditya-L1 mission will be launched at 11.50am on Saturday. He added that the solar mission is for studying the Sun and it will take 125 days to reach the exact radius.
After the Sun observatory mission, the ISRO will launch various others, including SSLV – D3 and PSLV, in the coming days, he said.
Also follow | Aditya L1 Mission Live Updates
“Next launch is Aditya L1, then by October-mid Gaganyaan in-flight crew escape system demo TV-D1, then GSLV INSAT 3DS, then SSLV-D3, then PSLV, then LVM3 and so on…” Somanath replied when asked about the ISRO’s new missions.
“PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 Mission: The 23-hour 40-minute countdown leading to the launch at 11:50 Hrs. IST on September 2, 2023, has commended today at 12:10 Hrs,” the ISRO, meanwhile, wrote on X (formally Twitter) on Friday.
“The launch can be watched LIVE on ISRO Website https://isro.gov.in Facebook https://facebook.com/ISRO YouTube https://youtube.com/watch?v=_IcgGYZTXQw DD National TV channel from 11:20 Hrs. IST,” it added.
On being asked about the Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission, Somanath said everything was working well.
Highlights of ISRO’s upcoming and past missions:
Slated for launch on Saturday, September 2, the Aditya-L1 (Aditya is a name for the sun in the Hindi language) is the first Indian space mission to study the Sun.
The spacecraft will be placed in an orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, about 1.5 million km (930,000 miles) from Earth, where the gravitational effects of both bodies cancel each other out. That “parking lot” in space allows objects to stay put because of balancing gravitational forces, reducing fuel consumption by the spacecraft.
The mission aims to observe solar activities and their effects on space weather in real time. In 2019, the government sanctioned the equivalent of about $46 million for the Aditya-L1 mission. The ISRO has not given an official update on costs.
India’s first crewed space mission (“Gagan” means sky in Hindi, “yaan” is craft) plans to launch a crew of three to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission before landing in Indian waters.
The ISRO has said its Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre had successfully tested systems for stabilising the crew module and safely reducing its velocity during re-entry.
Earlier this year, the deputy minister for science and technology, Jitendra Singh, said about 90.23 billion rupees ($1.08 billion) had been allocated for the Gaganyaan programme. The ISRO said it will focus on achieving a sustained human presence in space once Gaganyaan is completed.
No official kickoff date has been announced so far.
NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) SATELLITE
NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) is a low-Earth orbit observatory system jointly developed by NASA and ISRO. NISAR will map the entire planet once every 12 days, providing data for understanding changes in ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, ground water and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.
Roughly the size of an SUV, the satellite is set to be launched from India in the first quarter of next year, with a target launch set for January.
X-RAY POLARIMETER SATELLITE (XPoSat)
India is also building its first dedicated polarimetry mission to study cosmic X-ray sources.
The mission is aimed at unfolding new frontiers in high-energy astrophysics and will allow in-depth investigations of neutron stars and black hole sources. The ISRO has not set a launch date for this mission yet.
Chandrayaan-3: On August 23, India became the first country to safely land a craft in the Moon’s south pole region. The mission is ongoing, with the ISRO saying its rover had confirmed the presence of sulphur, iron, oxygen and other elements on the moon.
Chandrayaan-2: In 2019, the ISRO launched its second moon mission, its first attempt to study the lunar south pole. The mission included an orbiter, lander and rover, and was launched amid high expectations. Although it deployed the orbiter successfully, the lander crashed.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM): In 2013, ISRO became the fourth space agency to put a spacecraft in the Mars orbit. MOM, which had a projected mission time of only six months, did not lose contact with ground controllers until 2022.
Chandrayaan-1: India’s first mission to the Moon was launched successfully in 2008. The satellite made more than 3,400 orbits around the moon and confirmed the presence of water ice on the moon; the mission concluded when communication with the spacecraft was lost on Aug. 29, 2009.
(With inputs from PTI, Reuters)