“ESA supports ISRO in India’s Solar mission – Aditya-L1 collaboration.”

India has achieved a significant milestone with the successful launch of its inaugural Solar mission, Aditya-L1. The European Space Agency (ESA) has pledged crucial support to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for this mission. ESA’s assistance encompasses deep space communication services and the validation of critical new flight dynamics software.

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ESA emphasizes the importance of ground station support for obtaining scientific data from a spacecraft, as communication is integral to space missions. Ramesh Chellathurai, ESA Service Manager and Cross-Support Liaison Officer for ISRO, highlights ESA’s global network of deep space tracking stations and adherence to international technical standards, enabling them to assist partners in tracking, commanding, and receiving data from spacecraft across the solar system.

Specifically for the Aditya-L1 mission, ESA is providing support through its 35-meter deep space antennas in Australia, Spain, and Argentina, along with assistance from the Kourou station in French Guiana and coordinated support from the Goonhilly Earth Station in the UK.

The European Space Agency is the primary provider of ground station services for Aditya-L1, offering support from launch and early orbit phases throughout the journey to L1. They will continue to send commands to and receive science data from Aditya-L1 during routine operations over the next two years.

ISRO’s Aditya-L1 mission, launched after the successful Chandrayaan-3 lunar expedition on August 23, completed its first orbit maneuvering exercise. Several more such exercises are planned as the satellite remains in Earth orbit for 16 days. These exercises will provide the satellite with the necessary velocity for its journey to the L1 point near the Sun. After reaching L1, Aditya-L1 will undergo a trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuver, initiating its 110-day trajectory to its final destination. This maneuver will position the satellite in a halo orbit near L1, providing stability due to the balancing gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun.

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