On Friday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) commenced the 23-hour 40-minute countdown for the launch of India’s first solar observatory mission, named Aditya-L1, that will be launched onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 11:50 am today.
Approximately sixty-three minutes after liftoff, the satellite separation is expected to take place as the PSLV will launch the Aditya-L1 spacecraft into a highly eccentric earth-bound orbit at around 12:53 pm.
This PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 mission can be counted as one of the longest missions involving ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle. However, the longest of the PSLV missions is still the 2016 PSLV-C35 mission which was completed two hours, 15 minutes and 33 seconds after lift-off.
Following the launch, Aditya-L1 will stay in earth-bound orbits for 16 days, during which it will undergo five manoeuvres to gain the necessary velocity for its journey.
Aditya-L1 will stay approximately 1.5 million km away from the earth, directed towards the sun; this is about 1% of the distance between the earth and the sun.