Saturday, September 02, 2023

After the Moon, India Launches Rocket to Study the Sun

Aditya-L1 launch

Following the success of India’s moon landing, the country’s space agency launched a rocket on Saturday to study the sun in its first solar mission.

The rocket left a trail of smoke and fire as scientists clapped, a live broadcast on the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) website showed, Reuters reported.

The broadcast was watched by nearly 500,000 viewers, while thousands gathered at a viewing gallery near the launch site to see the lift-off of the probe, which will aim to study solar winds, which can cause disturbance on earth commonly seen as auroras.

Named after the Hindi word for the sun, the Aditya-L1 launch follows India beating Russia late last month to become the first country to land on the south pole of the moon. While Russia had a more powerful rocket, India’s Chandrayaan-3 out-endured the Luna-25 to execute a textbook landing.

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed to travel about 1.5 million km (930,000 miles) over four months to a kind of parking lot in space where objects tend to stay put because of balancing gravitational forces, reducing fuel consumption for the spacecraft.

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