As the countdown to India’s first solar mission Aditya-L1 to the Sun has begun, former International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield praised India’s “technological prowess” and said everyone on Earth is “embracing technology”.
The Indian solar mission is scheduled to launch from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 11:50 a.m. today. The launch test and the internal vehicle checks have been completed.
Aditya-L1 is India’s first solar space observatory and is launched by PSLV-C57. It will carry seven different payloads to conduct a detailed study of the Sun, four of which will observe the Sun’s light and the other three will measure in-situ parameters of the plasma and magnetic fields.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, former astronaut Chris Hadfield spoke about how the results of the Aditya L-1 mission will impact human spaceflight.
“So if we put something like Aditya L-1 between us and the sun to sense these things, to better understand how the sun works and what threats it poses to the Earth, that’s good for everyone around us to protect as people.” . But of course our power grid, our internet network and all the thousands of satellites that we count on are in orbit,” he said.
Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrange point 1 (or L1), which is 1.5 million kilometers from Earth toward the Sun. The route is expected to be completed in four months.
Expressing the international space community’s expectations for Aditya L-1, Mr. Hadfield said: “Well, everyone on Earth relies on technology just to have power in their homes, and in businesses to enable communications… We’re really doing the math “This is a complicated, interconnected global power and data system… It’s really useful information, not just for ISRO and of course not just for the Indian space program, but it’s kind of vital space weather for the world.”
The main objectives of the Indian solar mission include studying the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism, solar wind acceleration, solar atmosphere coupling and dynamics, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy, as well as the formation of coronal mass ejections (CME) and flares and near-Earth space weather.
The sun’s atmosphere, the corona, is what we see during a total solar eclipse. A coronagraph like the VELC is an instrument that cuts out light from the sun’s disk, allowing it to image the much fainter corona at any time, said the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
Chris Hadfield called the successful landing of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission a “strong demonstration of the enhanced capabilities of Indian technology”.
“It’s quite a historic moment for India and the world.”
He also praised India’s technological advancement and said, “This example of landing on the moon and sending a probe to the sun or at least observing the sun and preparing Indian astronauts for a flight in space is a truly visible example for all to see.” It’s becoming clear to India, but to everyone else in the world, where India’s technological prowess is right now, and it’s kind of a foretaste of everything that’s to come.
On the budget of India’s lunar mission (Chandrayaan-3), former International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield said, “It’s really important to put the budget in perspective… If you compare it to everything else the Indian government is doing.” If if you compare it with the amount spent on food distribution or the rest of the health and welfare of the Indian people, that is about a hundredth of 1% of the total budget… Compared to what other countries spend on something Doing something similar is also one of India’s great strengths…It makes them (India) extremely competitive…The cost-effective and successful way India landed on the moon is a proof positive for all Indian space companies, that they have “We can do something just as well and for a lot less money than the rest of the world and that’s a really good business model.”
Talking about commercially developing the technology to make it a profitable space business, the former commander of the International Space Station also said, “India is in a really strong position to achieve this.”
“I think Prime Minister Narendra Modi has seen this for several years. He’s very directly connected to the Indian Space and Research Organization…So it’s a really smart move by the Indian leadership at the moment to push this forward. “We’re developing it further, but we’re also in the process of privatizing it so that the companies and therefore the Indian People can benefit from it,” said Hadfield.
Chris Hadfield, who is also an astronaut, wrote “Apollo Murders” and is expected to release the next installment of “The Defector” in October.
“My new book is called ‘The Defector’ and will be published on October 10th. It is a thriller, an alternative history literature. And almost everything that happened in the book is real, but it’s so fun to weave a plot in between “astronauts and test pilots and the ongoing space program and the nuclear program,” he said.