India is embarking on a new frontier in space exploration with its upcoming mission to the Sun, scheduled for launch on September 2. Following its recent successful lunar landing, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is now focusing its attention on the Sun, aiming better to understand space weather and its impacts on Earth.
Named the Aditya-L1 mission, after the Hindu sun god, the spacecraft will be launched aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Its destination is the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1, a stable gravitational location about 1 million miles away from Earth. This strategic position will allow Aditya-L1 to observe the Sun continuously without being blocked by eclipses or other obstructions.
Equipped with seven science instruments, the mission will study various aspects of the Sun’s activities. Four instruments will be directed toward the Sun to gather direct observations, while the remaining three will analyze particles at Lagrange Point 1 to investigate the effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.
This ambitious mission comes on the heels of India’s successful lunar landing with Chandrayaan-3, which touched down on the lunar south pole on August 23. The achievement not only solidified India’s place among countries capable of lunar landings but also highlighted the nation’s growing prowess in space exploration.
ISRO’s commitment to space exploration doesn’t stop here. The organization has joined forces with NASA through the Artemis Accords, a collaborative effort aimed at advancing lunar exploration and establishing a habitable presence on the Moon. Additionally, India has preliminary plans to send missions to explore Mars and Venus, signaling a promising future for the country’s space program.