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 

Significance of Solar Study?


Why in the news:

On August 14, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) unveiled images from the Aditya-L1 mission, marking the organization’s inaugural endeavor to investigate the Sun.

  • Mission Overview:
      • The Aditya-L1 mission is conducted by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
      • The mission’s primary focus is studying the Sun’s atmosphere and magnetic field.
  • Payloads and Objectives:
      • The spacecraft is equipped with seven advanced payloads (instruments) designed to study various aspects of solar activity:
        • Observing the Sun’s corona.
        • Analyzing solar emissions.
        • Investigating solar winds.
        • Studying solar flares.
        • Examining Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).
      • Continuous imaging of the Sun’s behavior is a crucial mission objective.
  • Significance of Solar Study:
      • Understanding the Sun’s influence on planet evolution, including Earth and exoplanets beyond the Solar System.
      • Solar weather impacts space weather, affecting satellite orbits, electronics, power grids, and Earth’s environment.
      • Insights into solar phenomena are essential for predicting and mitigating space weather-related challenges.
  • Lagrange Point (L1):
      • The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is positioned at Lagrangian Point 1 (L1).
      • L1 is where the gravitational forces of Earth and the Sun create an equilibrium, making it an advantageous location for continuous solar observations.
      • Uninterrupted solar monitoring is enabled due to the absence of events like eclipses.
  • Location and Distance:
      • L1 is situated around 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, making it an optimal location for solar observations.
      • Aditya-L1’s positioning ensures a direct line of sight to the Sun, facilitating uninterrupted data collection.
  • Challenges and Opportunities:
      • Many instruments and components for this mission are being developed for the first time in India. This presents both challenges and opportunities for India’s scientific, engineering, and space communities.
      • The mission contributes to technological innovation and enhances India’s capabilities in space research.
  • Comparison to Other Missions:
      • The Aditya-L1 spacecraft stays further away from the Sun compared to missions like NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.
      • Parker Solar Probe faced extremely high temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius, whereas Aditya-L1 operates in a safer range.
  • Conclusion:
    • The Aditya-L1 mission aims to uncover vital information about the Sun’s behavior and dynamics through continuous observations.
    • By utilizing the advantages of Lagrange Point 1 and pioneering new instrument development, the mission seeks to advance our understanding of space weather and its impacts on Earth and the solar system.


  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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. Asteroids and other celestial bodies have been found at these points.

  • Examples: The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are positioned at Lagrange Points to observe the Sun and distant cosmic objects, respectively.
  • 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.



Q.1 Consider the following statements:

  1. Lagrange points are positions in space where the gravitational forces of two large bodies balance the centrifugal force felt by a smaller object.
  2. There are a total of ten Lagrange points in the Earth-Sun system
  3. Lagrange points have significant applications in space exploration

 How many of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) Only one 

(b) Only two 

(c) All three 

(d) None


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

  1. The mission’s primary focus is studying the Moon and Sun’s atmosphere and magnetic field.
  2. The Aditya-L1 mission is conducted by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in association with 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 Discuss the significance and objectives of India’s Aditya-L1 mission in the context of space exploration. Also, evaluate the potential scientific, technological, and societal benefits that can be derived from the successful execution of the Aditya-L1 mission. 

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