BENGALURU (Reuters) – India is set to launch its next space project, a mission to study the sun and its effect on space weather, days after the historic landing of its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the moon’s south pole.
Highlights of the upcoming and past missions of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are as follows:
Set to launch on September 2, Aditya L1 (Aditya is the name for the sun in Hindi) is India’s first space mission to study the sun. The spacecraft will be put into orbit around the Lagrangian Point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, about 1.5 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from Earth, where the gravitational effects of both objects cancel each other out. This “parking” in space allows objects to stay in place due to balancing gravitational forces, thus reducing fuel consumption by the spacecraft.
The mission aims to monitor solar activities and their effects on space weather in real time.
In 2019, the government allocated the equivalent of about US$46 million for the Aditya-L1 mission. ISRO has not provided an official update on costs.
India’s first manned space mission (“gajan” means sky in Hindi, “yan” is a craft) plans to launch a three-man crew into a 400-kilometre (250-mile) orbit for a three-day mission before landing in Indian waters.
ISRO said its Vikram Sarabhai Space Center has successfully tested systems to stabilize and safely decelerate the crew module during re-entry.
Earlier this year, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, said, He said About 90.23 billion rupees ($1.08 billion) has been allocated for the Gajanyan programme. ISRO says it will focus on achieving a sustainable human presence in space once Project Gaganyaan is complete.
No official launch date has been announced, but ISRO said the mission will likely be ready in 2024.
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 to understand changes in ecosystems, ice mass, plant biomass, sea level rise, groundwater, and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides.
The satellite, which is roughly the size of an SUV, is scheduled to be launched from India in the first quarter of next year, with a target launch date set for January.
X-ray Polarimetry Satellite (XPoSat)
India is also building the first dedicated polarimetry mission to study cosmic X-ray sources.
The mission aims to reveal new frontiers in high-energy astrophysics and will allow in-depth investigations of neutron stars and the sources of black holes.
ISRO has not yet set a launch date for this mission.
* Chandrayaan-3 – On August 23, India became the first country to safely land a rover in the lunar south pole region. The mission is still ongoing, and ISRO says its probe has confirmed the presence of sulfur, iron, oxygen and other elements on the moon.
* Chandrayaan-2 – In 2019, ISRO launched its second lunar mission, its first attempt to study the moon’s south pole. The mission included an orbiter, lander and rover, and was launched amid great anticipation. Although it successfully deployed the orbiter, it crashed.
* Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – In 2013, ISRO became the fourth space agency to put a spacecraft into Mars orbit. MOM, whose expected mission duration was only six months, did not lose contact with ground controllers until 2022.
* Chandrayaan-1 – India’s first mission to the moon was successfully launched in 2008. The satellite made more than 3,400 lunar orbits and confirmed the presence of water ice on the moon; The mission ended when communication with the spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009.
(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bengaluru; Prepared by Mohamed for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Gerry Doyle and Raju Gopalakrishnan
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