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Isro successfully launches Astrosat, six other satellites

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Successful Mars mission helps ISRO end year on high note
Successful Mars mission helps ISRO end year on high note

SRIHARIKOTA: Isro on Monday successfully launched India’s first astronomy satellite Astrosat, eleven years after the government cleared the project.

A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30) carrying Astrosat and six other satellites lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 10am.

In around 25 minutes after liftoff, PSLV-C30 injected Astrosat and other satellites — four US nano satellites, a microsatellite from Indonesia a nanosatellite from Canada – into their respective orbits. This is the first time India is launching a US satellite.

Astrosat was placed in an orbit 644.651km from earth, as desired. The satellite achieved an expected inclination of 6.002 degree.

“The mission is successful. It is a well-professed and synchronous efforts.” Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P Kunhikrishnan said after the launch. “It’s a hard earned gift,” he added.

Complete coverage: Isro launches Astrosat


Astrosat, which had a lift-off mass of 1,513kg, will now embark on a five-year astronomy mission studying distant celestial objects.

It will observe the universe in the optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy x-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, compared to most other scientific satellites that are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band.

Among its assignments, the five payloads of Astrosat will study star birth regions and black holes.

ISRO’s website lists out the objective of the observatory: to understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes, estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars, study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy, detect new briefly bright x-ray sources in the sky and perform limited deep field survey of the universe in the ultraviolet region.

Carrying five payloads, Astrosat is capable of observing the sky in the visible, near ultraviolet (UV) and far UV regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The two telescopes on the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) payload are designed to achieve an excellent image resolution, while the other four payloads have their specific roles.

The other payloads are Large X-Ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC), Soft x-ray Telescope (SXT), Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) and Charge Particle Monitor (CPM).

The payloads will start working on next Monday, on the eighth day after launch.

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