Inicio Financial With Astrosat, Isro gets its own window to the stars

With Astrosat, Isro gets its own window to the stars

With Astrosat, Isro gets its own window to the stars

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday successfully launched astronomy satellite Astrosat along with six foreign satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island off the Bay of Bengal coast in Andhra Pradesh.

This is India’s first dedicated satellite for astronomy mission. The satellites were released through the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLC -C30.

Astrosat, the 1,513kg astronomy satellite with an expected operating lifetime of five years, will carry five payloads for simultaneous multi-band observations.

Together, these telescopes and detectors will be used to observe celestial objects by performing observations in ultraviolet, optical, low and high-energy X-ray wavebands.

Institutions that were involved in payload development of the astronomy satellite include Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and Raman Research Institute. Two of the payloads were developed in collaboration with Canadian Space Agency and University of Leicester, UK.

“There is an exciting possibility to address new investigations in astronomy using our own, largely indigenously-built facility in space,” said P. Sreekumar, director, IIA. “A near-continuous observational capability in space for astronomical studies, complementing existing ground-based facilities,” he added.

Some of the scientific objectives of the satellite include understanding high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and blackholes, studying star birth regions and high-energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy, and detecting new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky.

“Up to now, Indian scientists can propose for observing time on X-ray telescopes launched by other countries. With the launch of Astrosat, we get our own telescope. Initially, Astrosat will be used completely by Indian scientists and the instrument building team. Eventually, some time will be available for foreign scientists as well,” said Varun Bhalerao, a post-doctoral fellow at IUCAA, who was part of the teams that developed Astrosat.

The six foreign satellites launched along with Astrosat will be used for maritime monitoring by the respective countries. These include one from Indonesia and Canada and four from the US.