ISRO Successfully Launches India’s First Dedicated Space Observatory, Astrosat

Credit:ISRO

Credit:ISRO

Astrosat, India’s first dedicated space observatory, soared to its destination on Monday  at 10 a.m. local time from the Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

PSLV-C30, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, launched Astrosat and six other satellites, one each from Indonesia, Canada and four nano satellites from the U.S.  Astrostat weighing 1513 kilogram  was successfully injected into a 659 km orbit of the equator. It took over 22-minutes for the rocket to place Astrosat to its dedicated orbit, while other six satellites, which together weighed 118 kilograms, were placed into respective orbits in next five minutes.

With its successful launch, India has joined an elite club of countries which have its own dedicated space observatory.  Other countries in the club are the US, Japan, Russia, and Europe.

Astrosat has a lifespan of five years, and will  observe the universe in the optical, Ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, giving a deeper understanding of the universe. The satellite is India’s multi-wavelength space observatory.

One of the unique features of Astrosat mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite, ISRO said in a statement.

“Multi-wavelength observations of ASTROSAT can be further extended with co-ordinated observations using other spacecraft and ground-based observations. All major astronomy Institutions and some Universities in India will participate in these observations,” ISRO said.

According to the statement, after injection into Orbit, the two solar panels of ASTROSAT are automatically deployed in quick succession. The spacecraft control centre at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore will manage the satellite during its mission life.

Other satellites  launched along with Astrosat are LAPAN-A2 is a Microsatellite from National Institute of Aeronautics and Space-LAPAN, Indonesia, NLS-14 (Ev9), a Nanosatellite from Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies (SFL, UTIAS), Canada, and Four LEMUR nano satellites from Spire Global, Inc. (San Francisco, CA).

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