Indian spacecraft Aditya-L1 on mission to observe sun reaches destination

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India’s solar observation mission reached its destination, marking yet another space achievement after the successful landing of a craft near the moon’s south pole last year.

Aditya-L1, which took off in September to dig deep into the sun’s working, reached a point 1.5 million kilometers (932,000 miles) from Earth, according to India’s space agency on Saturday.

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The location is a fraction of the 150-million-kilometer distance between Earth and the sun.

India became the first country to land a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole in 2023 after Russia’s attempt at a lunar touch down in the same area ended in failure following an engine malfunction.

The country’s advancement in the global space race could help bolster Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity as he seeks a third term in office through federal elections this summer.

The Indian Space Research Organization is working on other projects including a human spaceflight program that aims to launch astronauts into orbit for the first time possibly by 2025.

“It is a testament to the relentless dedication of our scientists in realizing among the most complex and intricate space missions,” Modi said of Aditya-L1 on social media platform X.

“I join the nation in applauding this extraordinary feat. We will continue to pursue new frontiers of science for the benefit of humanity.”

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