Astronaut Chris Hadfield on the ISRO Sun Aditya-L1 mission

Aditya-L1 will be launched by PSLV-C57 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh today (File)


As the countdown to India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1, to the sun begins, former commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield praised India’s “technological prowess” and said everyone on Earth “relies on technology”.

Sun’s India mission is scheduled to launch at 11:50 a.m. today from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, with launch exercises and internal vehicle checks completed.

Aditya-L1 is India’s first solar space observatory and will be launched by PSLV-C57. It will carry seven different payloads to conduct a detailed study of the Sun, four of which will observe sunlight 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 when we put something like the Aditya L-1 between us and the sun to sense those things, to better understand how the sun works and the threats it poses to Earth, that’s a good thing for everyone to protect us as humans,” he added. “But also, of course, our electrical grid, our internet.” And all the thousands of satellites we rely on are in orbit.”

Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (or L1), which is 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the direction of the sun. He is expected to cover this distance within four months.

Expressing the international space fraternity’s expectations of Aditya L-1, Mr. Hadfield said, “Well, everyone on Earth relies on technology just to have electricity in their homes and businesses to have communications… We depend on a really complex and interconnected global electricity and data system.” … It’s really useful information, not just for ISRO and not just for the Indian space program, but it’s something that’s kind of vital space weather for the world.”

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The main objectives of the Indian Solar Mission include studying the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism, solar wind acceleration, coupling and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature variation, origin 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. The Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics said that a coronagraph like VELC is an instrument that cuts light from the Sun’s disk, and thus can image the faint corona at all times.

Chris Hadfield described the successful landing of the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-3 moon mission as “strong evidence of the growing capability of Indian technology”.

“This is a historic moment for India and for the world.”

He also praised India’s technological progress, saying: “This example of landing on the moon, sending a probe to the sun, or at least observing the sun and preparing Indian astronauts to fly in space, sets a really clear example for everyone in the world.” India, but for everyone else around the world, where Indian technological prowess is now is a kind of hint of everything to come.”

Regarding the budget for India’s mission to the moon (Chandrayan-3), former commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, said: “It is really important to put the budget in perspective… if you compare it to everything else that the Indian government does.” If you compare it to the amount that is spent on food distribution or the rest of the health and well-being of the Indian people, it is like 100 of 1% of the entire budget… Compared to what other countries spend to do something similar, it is one of the great strengths of India as well.. It makes it (India) very competitive… The inexpensive and successful way in which India has landed on the moon, is proof positive for all Indian space companies that they can do something too and for much less money than the rest of the world, and that is a really good business model. “

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In the context of pushing the technology in an economical way to turn it into a profitable space business, the former commander of the International Space Station also said: “India is in a really strong position to do this.”

“I think Prime Minister Narendra Modi has seen that for several years. He’s very much directly involved in the Indian space and research organization…so it’s a really smart move on the part of the Indian leadership right now, to push it, and to be that way.” “We are developing it, but we are also privatizing it so that companies and therefore the Indian people can benefit from it,” Hadfield said.

Chris Hadfield, also an astronaut, wrote “Apollo Murders” and the sequel to “The Defector” is scheduled for release in October.

“My new book is ‘Maverick,’ and it comes out October 10. It’s exciting fiction, alternate history fiction. Almost everything that happened in the book is true, but it’s a lot of fun to weave a plot line between the astronauts and the test pilots and the space program and the nuclear program that was going on.”

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