India launches its first space mission to the sun

India on Saturday launched its first space mission to study the sun.

Aditya-L1 spacecraft was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, located in southern India at 11.50 a.m. local time (0620GMT), according to Press Information Bureau. The spacecraft would study the sun from a point about 1.5 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from Earth.

The launch came over a week after the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the south polar region of the moon.

“The launch of Aditya-L1 by PSLV-C57 is accomplished successfully. The (satellite launch) vehicle has placed the satellite precisely into its intended orbit,” India Space Research Organization said on X.

The Aditya-L1 is headed for the L1 point of the Earth-Sun system, which affords an uninterrupted view of the sun, ISRO said, adding: “This will provide a greater advantage of observing solar activities and their effect on space weather in real-time.”

The spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors, it added.

“The suits of Aditya L1 payloads are expected to provide most crucial information to understand the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics, dynamics of space weather, propagation of particle and fields etc.,” ISRO said.

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