Stating that Sunday’s manoeuvre happened at 2.30am, Isro said: “Ground stations at Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR (Sriharikota) and Port Blair tracked the satellite during this operation.”
The spacecraft is now in an orbit of 296km x 71,767km and the next Earth-bound manoeuvre is scheduled for 2am on September 15.
Including the September 15 manoeuvre, Aditya-L1 will have two more such manoeuvres, being carried out for the spacecraft to gain the necessary velocity for its journey to reach L1.
Once the Earth-bound manoeuvres are complete — 16th day from the launch date — Aditya-L1 will undergo a Trans-Lagrangian1 Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre, marking the beginning of its 110-day trajectory to L1.
The L1 — about 1.5-million-km from Earth — refers to Lagrange Point-1 of the Sun-Earth system. It is a location in space where the gravitational forces of two celestial bodies, such as the Sun and Earth, are in equilibrium. This allows an object placed there to remain relatively stable with respect to both celestial bodies.
Upon arrival at the L1 point, another manoeuvre binds Aditya-L1 to an orbit around L1, where the satellite will spend its whole mission life orbiting around L1 in an irregularly shaped orbit in a plane roughly perpendicular to the line joining the Earth and the Sun.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Istrac scientists had successfully implemented the second Earth-bound manoeuvre of Aditya-L1 and put the spacecraft in an orbit of 282km x 40,225km.
Istrac/Isro ground stations at Mauritius, Bengaluru and Port Blair tracked the satellite during the second Earth-bound operation.
On September 3, a day after Aditya-L1 was launched, Isro had completed the first Earth-bound manoeuvre and put the spacecraft in an orbit of 245km x 22,459km,.
Aditya-L1 is a satellite dedicated to the comprehensive study of the Sun. It has seven distinct payloads — five by Isro and two by academic institutions in collaboration with Isro — developed indigenously.
With Aditya-L1, Isro will venture into the study of solar activities and its effect on space weather. The scientific objectives of Aditya-L1 include the study of coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), dynamics of solar atmosphere and temperature anisotropy.
Earth, Moon & Selfie
Last week, Aditya-L1 took some great pictures while it went around Earth. Isro, releasing these pictures, the first taken by Aditya-L1, said: “Aditya-L1, destined for the Sun-Earth L1 point, takes a selfie and images of the Earth and the Moon.”
In the selfie, two key payloads, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) for Corona imaging & spectroscopy studies and Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) for Photosphere and Chromosphere imaging (narrow & broadband), are seen. In the other photograph, the onboard camera shows Earth from up close and Moon far away.