India`s mission to probe Sun before 2020

Last Updated: Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 13:16

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: After successfully launching the Mars Orbiter Mission, India is now gearing up for its next expedition to the Sun. India will send a multi-million dollar mission to probe the Sun by 2020,as reported by a space official. This maiden mission to the sun is titled Aditya-1.
“The Aditya mission to the Sun has been planned between 2017 and 2020. The mission would be around the Earth. A few equipment are being planned for that,” the state-owned Indian Space Research Organization’s chief K. Radhakrishnan told reporters in Chennai on Friday.

Way back in 2008, Aditya was planned to study the solar corona. This part of the Sun has temperatures of over 1 million degrees, with raging solar winds that reach a velocity of up to 1,000 km a second. Now it will be equipped with an ultraviolet imager telescope to observe the whole solar disc so that the scientists can know things happening on the sun’s surface like solar storms, which impact atmosphere on the earth.

The satellite, which will carry as its payload an advanced solar coronagraph also, will weigh just 400 kg. It was initially projected to cost $10 million, but due to an upgraded mission profile, it is now estimated to cost $20 million.
It is likely to be placed into a near Earth orbit of 800 km. The mission will study the fundamental problems of coronal heating, and other phenomena that take place in the Earth’s magnetosphere.

The solar mission would put India in the elite club that currently has only two members-the Europe Space Agency and USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 13:08

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