India’s first solar observatory has made a trajectory correction maneuver to ensure it is on course for a special point in space to observe the sun.
India launched Aditya-L1 on Sept. 2, sending the spacecraft on a 110-day voyage to an area in space around 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth. Aditya-L1 is planned to settle into a halo orbit around Earth-sun Lagrange point 1, a gravitationally stable area from which the spacecraft will have an uninterrupted view of the sun.
“A Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM), originally provisioned, was performed on October 6, 2023, for about 16 seconds,” according to the India Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) X social media account.
Aditya-L1 Mission:The Spacecraft is healthy and on its way to Sun-Earth L1. A Trajectory Correction Maneuvre (TCM), originally provisioned, was performed on October 6, 2023, for about 16 s. It was needed to correct the trajectory evaluated after tracking the Trans-Lagrangean…October 8, 2023
ISRO previously wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sept. 30 that Aditya-L1 had successfully escaped the Earth’s sphere of influence. The TCM, which is a standard procedure for deep space missions, was executed to fine tune the spacecraft’s orbit.
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“It was needed to correct the trajectory evaluated after tracking the Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver performed on September 19, 2023,” ISRO wrote.
Aditya-L1 carries seven payloads for its five-year-long mission to study the sun. It is the second time India as sent a spacecraft beyond the Earth’s sphere of influence, the first being the the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), which launched in October 2013 and arrived in orbit around the Red Planet in 2014.
“Aditya” means “the sun” in Sanskrit, while the mission’s L1 suffix comes from the location from which it will operate.