Aditya-L1 Mission

Aditya-L1 Mission

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Aditya-L1 Mission”. The topic “Aditya-L1 Mission” has relevance in the Science and technology section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

Mission Overview?

About Lagrange Point?

For Mains:

GS 3: Science and technology 

Objectives of Aditya-L1 mission?


Why in the news:

On Friday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) initiated a countdown lasting 23 hours and 40 minutes for the launch of India’s inaugural solar observatory mission, Aditya-L1. This mission is set to be launched aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, with a scheduled liftoff time of 11:50 am today.


About Aditya-L1 mission:

  • Aditya-L1, India’s inaugural space mission to study the Sun, was conceived in January 2008 by the Advisory Committee for Space Research. This spacecraft will be positioned in a special orbit around a point called Lagrange point 1 (L1), which is about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
  • What’s special about this orbit is that it allows Aditya-L1 to continuously observe the Sun without any interruptions like eclipses or occultations. This is a big advantage because it enables real-time monitoring of solar activities and their impact on space weather.
  • Aditya-L1 will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL.It will take approximately 109 Earth days to reach this special orbit around the L1 point. 



The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is equipped with seven specialized instruments designed to observe different aspects of the Sun, including its photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layer called the corona. These instruments utilize various techniques, including electromagnetic and particle detection, as well as magnetic field measurement.

The seven payloads on board Aditya-L1 include:

  • Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VLEC): Used for imaging and spectroscopy of the corona.
  • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): Captures images of the photosphere and chromosphere in both narrow and broadband ultraviolet.
  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): Performs soft X-ray spectroscopy, observing the Sun as a star.
  • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): Analyzes solar wind and particles, including protons and heavier ions, with directional capabilities.
  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): Conducts hard X-ray spectroscopy to observe the Sun as a star.
  • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA): Studies solar wind and particles, including electrons and heavier ions, with directional measurements.
  • Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers: Measures the in-situ magnetic field in three dimensions (Bx, By, and Bz).


Objectives of Aditya-L1 mission:

  • Investigating the dynamics of the upper solar atmosphere, specifically the chromosphere and corona.
  • Researching the processes related to chromospheric and coronal heating, as well as the physics of partially ionized plasma. This involves studying the initiation of phenomena like coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares.
  • Gathering in-situ data on particles and plasma in the solar environment, contributing to the understanding of particle dynamics originating from the Sun.
  • Mapping the magnetic field topology and obtaining magnetic field measurements in the solar corona.
  • Examining the drivers for space weather, including the origin, composition, and dynamics of the solar wind.

Challenges associated with Aditya-L1:

  • Vast Distance: The considerable separation between the Sun and Earth poses a significant challenge for the mission in terms of covering such extensive distances.
  • Mechanical Complexity: The inclusion of moving components in the satellite design heightens the risk of potential collisions with other satellites orbiting in space.
  • Extreme Environmental Conditions: Despite its remote positioning relative to the Sun, Aditya-L1 faces the daunting task of enduring the incredibly intense temperatures and radiation associated with the Sun’s vicinity.

These challenges underscore the complexity of this pioneering mission and the need for careful planning and execution to achieve its scientific objectives.


Lagrange Points:

  • Lagrange Points, also known as Lagrangian Points or L-points, are specific locations in space where the gravitational forces of two large celestial bodies, such as a planet and a star, create points of equilibrium. At these points, the gravitational pull from each body is balanced in such a way that an object placed there will remain relatively stationary with respect to the two larger bodies.
  • The concept of Lagrange Points was developed by the Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange in the late 18th century. These points are often denoted as L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5.
  1. L1 (Lagrangian Point 1): This point is located between the two larger bodies, along the line connecting their centers. It is on the side of the smaller body facing the larger one. L1 is significant for its stable position and direct line of sight to both bodies. It’s commonly used for space observatories and missions that require continuous observation, such as solar observatories.
  2. L2 (Lagrangian Point 2): Positioned on the line connecting the two larger bodies but on the opposite side of the smaller body, L2 is also stable and has applications in astronomy and space exploration. Instruments placed here can observe distant objects with minimal interference from Earth’s atmosphere.
  3. L3 (Lagrangian Point 3): Located on the line passing through the two larger bodies but beyond the larger body, L3 is less commonly used due to its instability. It is often considered for certain types of observations, although the need to deal with the constant movement of spacecraft at this point makes it less practical.
  4. L4 and L5: These points form an equilateral triangle with the two larger bodies, creating stable regions where gravitational forces create a balance between centripetal and centrifugal forces. Objects placed at L4 or L5 are in stable orbits and are sometimes called Trojan points. 
  • Significance of Lagrange Points:
  • Reduced Fuel Consumption: Spacecraft placed at Lagrange Points can utilize minimal thrust to maintain their position due to the gravitational balance, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and longer mission lifetimes.
  • Space Observatory Locations: Lagrange Points are used as strategic locations for space observatories, allowing them to observe the cosmos without interference from Earth’s atmosphere or magnetic field.
  • Gateway Points: Lagrange Points can serve as potential “gateways” for future interplanetary missions, enabling spacecraft to access different regions of space with less energy.

Other missions to the sun:


Mission Name Agency Objective
DSCOVR (2015) NOAA (USA) To monitor solar wind and coronal mass ejections from the Sun, as well as to monitor Earth’s climate.
Parker Solar Probe (2018-2025) NASA To conduct close-range study of the solar corona and gather critical data about the Sun’s outer atmosphere and the solar wind.
Solar Orbiter (2020) ESA To study solar and heliospheric physics, providing insights into the Sun’s behavior and its effects on the solar system.
CuSP (2022) NASA To study particles and magnetic fields in the solar environment, contributing to a deeper understanding of the Sun’s magnetic dynamics and solar wind interactions.



plutus ias current affairs eng med 2nd Sep 2023


Q.1 Consider the following statements:

  1. Lagrange points are locations in space where the gravitational forces of two massive bodies counteract the centrifugal force experienced by a smaller object.
  2. In the Earth-Sun system, there exist a total of 5 Lagrange points.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2



Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Aditya L1 Mission :

  1. The central objective of the mission is the examination of the lunar and solar atmospheres along with their magnetic fields. 
  2. The Aditya-L1 mission is a collaborative effort led by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in partnership with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2



Q.3 Examine the importance of India’s Aditya-L1 mission within the broader context of space exploration. Additionally, assess the potential scientific, technological, and societal advantages that may arise from the successful accomplishment of the Aditya-L1 mission.

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