Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch India’s first fully dedicated astronomical satellite — ASTROSAT. The satellite will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 10 am on September 28, revealed ISRO chief A S Kiran. It is a 1.5 ton satellite that will blast off into space by a PSLV C-30 rocket.
India’s first space observatory Astrosat will be accompanied by six foreign co-satellites including one micro satellite each from Canada and Indonesia and four nano satellites from the US.
According to an ISRO official, “The mission envisages an earth orbiting scientific satellite with payloads capable of simultaneously observing the universe in the visible, ultraviolet and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.”
The satellite has the capability to observe multiple wavelengths including ultraviolet and X-rays which will help scientists in studying distant star, white dwarfs and pulsars. In addition, it will also study the super massive black hole situated at the centre of our galaxy Milky Way. According to ISRO, equipments of satellite are designed to train itself while observing the black hole.
While explaining about the ASTROSAT, ISRO chief said that the satellite will be launched into a 650 km orbit and is equipped with one UV telescope, a charge particle monitor and will carry four X-ray payloads. Canadian Space Agency and University of Leicester, UK have helped in designing two of the payloads.
Payload of the satellite was developed by ISRO along with four other Indian institutions — Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Raman Research Institute.
With the launch of ASTROSAT, India will become the fourth nation to launch a space observatory satellite. US, Russia and Japan are the other three countries to achieve the feat.