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Shoot for the star: Following Chandrayaan-2 success India plans 1st solar mission

Shoot for the star: Following Chandrayaan-2 success India plans 1st solar mission
Hot on the heels of the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-2 mission to the lunar South Pole, India’s space agency is already planning to launch its first solar probe within the next 12 months.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has pencilled in the Aditya-L-1 mission for the first half of 2020. It is expected to launch on an Indian PSLV-XL rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on the Bay of Bengal. 

ISRO says the probe will observe the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and corona using a variety of cutting-edge instruments.

Also on rt.com India successfully launches Chandrayaan 2 rover mission to Moon’s South Pole (VIDEO)

‘Aditya’ is a synonym for ‘Surya,’ the Sun’s name in Hindi while the L-1 stands for ‘first Lagrange’ point. This point is located some 1.5 million kilometres from the Sun, where the Earth and the Sun’s gravities cancel each other out. Lingering at this location will allow the spacecraft to hover in a stable, fixed position to survey and study the star. 

The mission follows in the footsteps of NASA’s Parker Solar probe in 2018 and the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in 1976. ISRO says it hopes Aditya-L-1 will help further our understanding of our life-giving star.

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