Just one week after its launch, the Aditya L1 mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has amazed space enthusiasts by taking a remarkable “selfie” on its journey to the Sun. ISRO shared an exciting video on Thursday, showcasing the spacecraft’s selfie along with captivating images of the Earth and the Moon, all captured by Aditya L1.
Shortly after its launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on September 2, ISRO reported that the Aditya L1 mission achieved a higher orbit around the Earth following a successful orbit-raising maneuver conducted on Tuesday. In this new orbit, the spacecraft will maintain an altitude ranging from 282 kilometers at its closest point to Earth’s surface and 40,225 kilometers at its farthest.
Aditya L1 is scheduled to remain in Earth’s orbit for a few more days, gradually increasing its distance from our planet through a series of precisely executed maneuvers, reminiscent of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Following this phase, the spacecraft will embark on an exit maneuver to depart Earth’s sphere of influence. It will then chart a course towards the L1 Lagrange point, where it will establish a halo orbit.
Notably, this mission marks ISRO’s first journey to a Lagrange point. These points are special locations in space where the gravitational forces of two massive celestial bodies, such as the Sun and Earth, allow a smaller object to maintain a stable orbit. Lagrange points are named after the Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange. Among them, L1, L2, and L3 are considered stable points, while L4 and L5 are less stable.
However, reaching L1 is no easy feat, as noted by the European Space Agency (ESA). The Aditya L1 spacecraft will need to execute a series of precise maneuvers to reach and maintain its position at this challenging location.