India’s Aditya L1 mission satellite has successfully begun studying energetic particles in the solar wind from space. This mission aims to conduct this study using the Supra-Thermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS), which is part of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload.

STEPS has been developed by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) with support from the Space Applications Center (SAC). The device has been operational since September 10 within Earth’s magnetic field and will continue to work from space during Aditya L1’s four-month journey to the Lagrange 1 point, approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

The primary objective of STEPS is to study the environment of energetic particles from its position at the L1 point. These data will help improve the health and performance of space assets and provide a better understanding of how space weather changes over time.

STEPS consists of six sensors that observe different directions and measure supra-thermal and energetic ions. By collecting data during Earth’s orbits, scientists can analyze the behavior of particles surrounding the planet, especially in the presence of Earth’s magnetic field.

Launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on September 2, the Aditya-L1 mission aims to reach the L1 point using the Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver. The L1 point is significant for solar observations and is where gravitational forces between two objects are balanced, allowing the spacecraft to remain in a stable position for a longer period of time.

Source: PRL and SAC (sources without provided URL)