INDIA’S First Scientific Observatory: Astrosat

On a very proud note to all the Indians, the first ever space observatory satellite operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will be launched on the 28th of September 2016 at 1000 hours IST from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The countdown for the launch of the PSLV-C30 carrying the satellite ASTROSAT started on at 0800 hours on Saturday and longed for almost 50 hours. The PSLV-C30 will carry in it 6 other co-passengers, a satellite each from Indonesia, Canada along with four other Nano satellites from the US.

The preparations concerning the launch of the satellites have been running smoothly as informed by the Director of the Public Relations, ISRO. The important clearance meetings conducted by the Mission Readiness Review (MRR) and Launch Authorization Board (LAB) on Friday. The chairman of ISRO Mr. A.S. Kiran Kumar commented that the launched will be one of the first scientific missions of India, which would broaden the amount of opportunities in the field.

ASTROSAT will help in serving simultaneous multi-wavelength observations in a single satellite. The 1513 kilo satellite will be launched to a distance of 650 km orbit inclined at angle of 6 degrees by the help of the PSLV-C30. ASTROSAT will be able to view the universe in optical, ultraviolet, and high-low energy regions of X-rays in the electromagnetic spectrum. This makes it different from other satellites as they are capable of observing the narrow range wavelength bands only.

According to the reports from ISRO, ASTROSAT after being injected to the orbit will have two solar panels deployed successively. After this, the spacecraft control centre at Missions Operation Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry situated at Bengaluru will control the satellite in its life.

The payload development of ASTROSAT is shared by four institutions namely, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Raman Research Institute.

According to ISRO, the scientific objectives of ASTROSAT are to understand the process undergoing high energy in the binary star systems containing Neutron stars and black holes. Further it can also help to learn more about the magnetic fields of the neutron stars and to research more on the birth of stars. It can also help is letting us know about many other high energy processes that are taking places beyond the galaxy and we seldom come to know about them.

ASTROSAT has been scheduled for a period of 5 years and is expected to keep the flight for the period. For the process, it carries four X-Ray payloads, a UV telescope and one charge particle monitor. The payload contribution has been further shared by Canadian Space Agency and University of Leicester, United Kingdom reportedly said by ISRO. The 50 hour long countdown has been down and is expected to serve the purpose at its best. Now all that is required is Good luck wishes to ISRO and all concerned.

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