More reports on: Indian Space Research Organisation

Isro's space observatory Astrosat set for launch on 28 September

22 September 2015

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) plans to launch India's first dedicated space observatory, Astrosat, into oribit on 28 September, facilitating studies on celestial bodies.

Isro's workhorse PSLV will take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikotta, at 10 am on 28 September, carrying the 1.5 tonne satellite and place it on a 650-km oribit.

Six other satellites - one satellite each from Indonesia and Canada, and four nano satellites from the US - will accompany Astrosat in the 650-km journey before parting off.

These satellites have already reached the launch station and Isro is in the job of attaching these with the launch vehicle.

''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,'' an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official was quoted as saying.

The satellite is equipped with four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor to observe both earth and other bodies, including the so-called white dwarfs and pulsars.

The multi-wavelength observatory will study distant stars, white dwarfs and pulsars. However, the mission's main goal is to study the massive black hole believed to be existing at the core of the Milky Way.

The scientific payload has a total mass of 750 kg, according to ISRO.

Apart from ISRO, four other Indian institutions - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Raman Research Institute - are taking part in the payload development.
Two of the payloads are in collaboration with Canadian Space Agency and University of Leiscester, UK, Isro said.

India will become the fourth country in the world to have launched a space observatory after the US, Russia and Japan.

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