What's the article about?
- It talks about India's first solar mission, Aditya-L1.
- GS3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology; Awareness in the fields of Space.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched Aditya-L1, India's first space mission dedicated to studying the sun.
- This article discusses the significance of Aditya-L1 and how it will deepen the relevance of India's space program.
Instruments on board Aditya-L1:
- Aditya-L1 will study the sun in multiple wavelengths with its suite of seven instruments: four remote-sensing and three in situ.
- The spacecraft will travel to the L1 Lagrange point, a point 1.5 million kilometers from the earth, where it will have an unobstructed view of the star while it stays in a halo orbit around the point.
- Aditya-L1 will record and transmit data to earth as quickly as possible, where the data downlink and analysis pipeline will have to operate with similar haste, so that scientists can piece together a concurrent image of the sun.
- The Significance of Aditya-L1:
- Even though the sun is the star closest to the earth and has been and continues to be observed by a panoply of telescopes, the sun still holds many secrets.
- Aditya-L1's findings could inform future space missions, considering the solar wind affects space weather and, in turn, the digital components of spacecraft.
- Aditya-L1 will also help solve mysteries such as the coronal heating problem, which is why the uppermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere is a thousand times hotter than the sun’s surface.
- ISRO's Maturity:
- ISRO's recent achievements, including the successful soft-landing of a robotic lander and rover on the moon’s south polar region, illustrate a certain maturity on the part of the Indian space program.
- ISRO enters a phase where its growth from strength to strength becomes indistinguishable from international leadership in space exploration, even as it carries forward an old tradition of studying the sun, exemplified by the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory.
- Aditya-L1 seems relatively simple given ISRO’s recent achievements, but it gives the Indian space program and the national solar physics community one more boundary to push.
- ISRO has demonstrated its ability to handle complex navigational tasks in interplanetary missions, and the attendant skills will be brought to bear on Aditya-L1 as well. Aditya-L1 is a significant milestone for India's space program and will deepen our understanding of the sun and its effects on space weather.
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