Aditya L1, India’s ambitious mission to study the sun, today made a giant leap and has now started observing solar winds. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), sharing the development said that the Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload onboard the satellite has commenced its operations and is performing normally.
The ASPEX comprises two instruments – the Solar wind Ion Spectrometer (SWIS) and STEPS (SupraThermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer). While STEPS had kicked into action on September 10, the SWIS instrument was activated on Saturday and has exhibited optimal performance, ISRO said.
The space agency also shared an image on X (formerly Twitter) that illustrates the energy variations in proton and alpha particle counts captured by the new payload.
The Solar Wind Ion Spectrometer (SWIS), the second instrument in the Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload is operational.
The histogram illustrates the energy variations in proton and alpha particle counts captured by SWIS over 2-days.… pic.twitter.com/I5BRBgeYY5
— ISRO (@isro) December 2, 2023
The mission lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on September 2. Major objectives of mission include the study of the physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism, the solar wind acceleration, coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares and near-earth space weather.
India’s other ongoing projects include a human spaceflight program that aims to launch astronauts into orbit for the first time possibly by 2025.