Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Sep 1: The Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), S. Somanath, on Friday offered prayers at a temple near the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, for the success of India’s rocket mission to the Sun.
Ahead of the crucial launch of the Aditya L1 mission scheduled on Saturday, aimed at studying the Sun, Somanath offered prayers at the Chengalamma Parameshwari temple near the spaceport.
“I came here to pray to Chengalamma Parameshwari for giving us strength to make this launch successful,” he told reporters after offering prayers.
Earlier, a group of ISRO scientists had offered prayers at the Tirumala temple on Friday morning.
Somanath said the countdown has started for the PSLV-C57 Aditya-L1 mission, which will be launched at 11.50 a.m. on Saturday.
“It will take almost an hour for the satellite to reach the required location and inject. The Aditya L1 mission is to study the Sun. It will take another 125 days to travel from Earth to the L1 point from where the satellite will look at the Sun,” he said.
Replying to another query, the ISRO chief said the date for Chandrayaan-4 has not been decided yet.
“We will announce soon. Something is there,” he said with a smile.
On the Chandrayaan-3 mission, Somanath said that lunar rover Pragyan is working very well, moving around the Moon and doing rotations which will go on till September 3.
Earlier, some scientists from the space agency visited the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala hills on Friday morning and prayed for the success of the Aditya L1 mission .
The 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 km from the Earth.
The first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun would be launched by a PSLV-C57 rocket.
It’s a common practice for the ISRO scientists to offer prayers at the famous hill shrine ahead of major missions.
In July, they had performed 'puja' at the temple with a miniature model of Chandrayaan-3.
The Moon mission scripted history by successfully landing on the lunar surface on August 23, as India became the only country to accomplish soft landing on the Moon’s South Pole. (IANS)