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Solar mission countdown to start on Friday, says ISRO chief

CHENNAI (PTI): ISRO Chairman S Somanath on Thursday said the space agency was getting ready for the September 2 launch of the country's ambitious solar mission, Aditya-L1 and that the countdown for its launch will start on Friday.

The mission is scheduled to be launched on September 2 at 11.50 am from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed for providing remote observations of the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind at L1 (Sun-Earth Lagrangian point), which is about 1.5 million kilometres from the earth.

It will be the first dedicated Indian space mission for observations of the Sun to be launched by the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency.

"We are just getting ready for the launch. The rocket and satellite are ready. We completed the rehearsal for the launch. So tomorrow we have to start the countdown for the day after tomorrow launch," Somanath told reporters here.

"After launch we will see further," he added.

Aditya-L1 is a fully indigenous effort with the participation of national institutions.

On the ongoing Chandrayaan 3 mission, where the rover Pragyan is currently moving around on the lunar surface, the ISRO chief said, "everything is working fine" and all data was coming through very well.

"Everything is working very healthy and we are hopeful that by the end of 14 (earth) days our mission will be successfully completed."

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