ISRO and ESA (European Space Agency) have joined forces for India’s Aditya-L1 mission, an ambitious project aimed at studying the Sun. This mission, which involves probing the brightest star in our solar system from a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers, requires a robust communication infrastructure to relay crucial data back to Earth. ESA, renowned for its expertise in deep space communication, is playing a pivotal role in ensuring seamless communication with the spacecraft.
Ramesh Chellathurai, ESA service manager, explains their involvement, stating, “For the Aditya-L1 mission, we are providing support from all three of our 35-meter deep space antennas located in Australia, Spain, and Argentina.” Additionally, ESA is offering supplementary support from its stations in French Guiana and the UK. This collaborative effort ensures not only the transmission of scientific data but also the real-time monitoring of the spacecraft’s location and status.
Beyond communication support, ESA’s responsibilities extend to validating a specialized software developed by ISRO. This software is crucial for precisely determining the spacecraft’s position throughout its mission. ESA employs a process known as orbit determination to achieve this accuracy.
The Aditya-L1 mission involves sending its payload to one of the Lagrangian points, specifically the L1 point, situated between the Earth and the Sun. These Lagrangian points are named after French mathematician Louis Lagrange, and they are key locations in space due to their gravitational stability.
The journey to the L1 Lagrangian point will span 125 days and includes transfer maneuvers to reach this position. ISRO and ESA embarked on this collaborative effort in 2022, intensively working together to evaluate the Aditya-L1 mission’s operations and the development of the required software.
This partnership showcases the importance of international collaboration in space exploration, as two leading space agencies combine their expertise to unlock the mysteries of our solar system’s most prominent celestial body, the Sun.
Sources By Agencies