India has launched its first solar mission called Aditya-L1, and the European Space Agency (ESA) is helping out. ESA is lending a hand to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by providing communication support and helping ISRO with new flight software.
ESA says that without communication support from ground stations, we can’t get any scientific data from a spacecraft during space missions. They have a network of deep space tracking stations worldwide, which follow international technical standards. This network helps them track, control, and receive data from spacecraft all over the solar system.
Ramesh Chellathurai, an ESA manager, said they’re using three big antennas in Australia, Spain, and Argentina, along with stations in French Guiana and the UK to support the Aditya-L1 mission.
ESA is the main provider of ground station services for Aditya-L1, and they’re supporting the solar mission from start to finish. They’re involved from the launch phase, throughout the journey to a special point near the Sun called L1, and even during routine operations for the next two years.
Aditya-L1 is a significant mission for India, following the successful Chandrayaan-3 lunar expedition. The satellite will spend 16 days in Earth’s orbit, during which it will perform five orbit maneuvers to gain the required speed. Then, it will start its journey towards the L1 point near the Sun, which is a stable location where the gravitational forces from the Earth and the Sun balance each other. This will help the satellite stay in place and conduct its scientific work.