Aditya was proposed to be sent to space by 2015–16 to study the solar corona. This part of the Sun has temperatures of over one million degrees, with raging solar winds that reach a velocity of up to 1000 km a second. The satellite will carry as its payload an advanced solar coronagraph. Due to confidence in handling multiple payloads after the Mars Orbiter Mission, ISRO now plans to launch the craft in 2017-18, and it will carry multiple payloads for better solar data collection. The extra payloads will include an ultraviolet imager telescope to observe the entire solar disc for solar storms, a high energy x-ray imager to scan smaller region of the solar disc to study flares, a wind particle detector to sample the solar wind, a soft x-ray spectrometer and a variable emission coronagraph.
It will be a small 400 kilograms (882 lb) satellite, which was initially projected to cost about 50 crore (US$10 million), but due to an upgraded mission profile, it is estimated to cost 100 crore (US$20 million). It is likely to be placed into a near earth orbit of 800 km. The spacecraft's mission will be to study the fundamental problems of coronal heating, and other phenomena that take place in the Earth's magnetosphere.
ISRO is working on development of sensors and thermal structures of the satellite after which a prototype of the satellite is expected to be built by 2011. Aditya's launch date has been rescheduled to 2017-18, after the mission was upgraded from a single payload mission to a multiple payload mission.
Recently ISRO is planning to position this sattelite at Lagrangian point L1. "We will be going to a point 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth, from which we will observe the sun constantly," says Annadurai. "Technically, this is a very challenging mission. Normally, any satellite will go around a mother planet but this will be at a point where the gravity of the sun and the Earth will play a role to keep the satellite in place," he says.