The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is likely to launch the country’s first solar mission later this year.

Named Aditya L-1, the mission was initially scheduled for launch in the first half of last year but was eventually delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During this mission, the satellite will be placed at Lagrangian point (L1) between the Earth and Sun to conduct studies on three different layers of the Sun.

The Aditya L-1 mission will carry six payloads, including the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), which is designed to study the diagnostic parameters of solar corona and dynamics and origin of coronal mass ejections.

The satellite will carry the payloads equipped with enhanced science scope and objectives.

They will facilitate observations on the Sun’s visible surface called the photosphere; the irregular layer over it called the chromosphere; and the Sun’s corona, which has a temperature of 6,000 Kelvin (5,726.85°C).

The satellite will travel 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth’s surface.

Besides the Aditya L-1, ISRO has planned eight launches this year, including the PSLV-C51, which was launched in February carrying Brazil’s Amazonia-1 optical Earth observation satellite, along with 18 co-passenger satellites from India and the US.

The launch for the GISAT-1 Earth observation mission was scheduled for 5 March but was ultimately postponed.

In a separate development, ISRO revealed its intention to offload most of its space-related activities to the industry to focus on advanced research.

ISRO chairman K Sivan said: “Future of space activities is now changing. Otherwise, (earlier) all the space activities were done by only ISRO. Now, we are giving equal opportunity to private players to also do it.”