ndia launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying the sun, building on a month of historic successes for the country’s civil space efforts.
The spacecraft, called Aditya-L1, launched from Sriharikota, an island off the Bay of Bengal, at 11:50 a.m. Saturday local time (2:20 am ET). And it’s headed to a parking spot in orbit about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth.
The successful liftoff of Aditya-L1 comes less than two weeks after India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization, made history by landing its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the lunar surface. The achievement made India only the fourth nation in the world — and the second in the 21st century — to land a vehicle safely on the moon.