Isro all set to launch astronomy satellite on 28 September

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Buoyed with its success of Mars orbit mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is ready to launch its indigenous astronomy satellite ‘Astrosat’ on 28 September from Sriharikota.

The Astrosat satellite, weighing 1.5 tonne, will be launched via Isro workhorse PSLV-C30 on 28 September to be placed in the orbit at 650 km from Earth.

The PSLVC-30 will carry the Astrosat along with six other foreign co-satellites—one each from Canada and Indonesia, and four nano satellites from the US.

“The launch vehicle’s assembly has been completed and satellites have arrived in Sriharikota,” said Isro in a statement.

After the success of satellite-borne Indian X-ray Astronomy Experiment was launched in 1996, the Isro approved development of Astrosat in 2004. It took one decade to give final shape to it.

Apart from Astrosat, two other satellites have been developed with Canadian Space Agency and University of Leiscester, UK, which will be put in orbit.

Isro chairperson AS Kiran Kumar earlier said, Astrosat “is one of the first scientific missions, which will be available to the Indian researcher community as an observation opportunity”.

Isro hopes to use Astrosat to monitor the X-Ray sky for new transients, fluctuations in X-Ray sources, simultaneous multi-wavelength monitoring of intensity variations. The Astrosat will also in conducting sky surveys in hard X-ray and UV bands. In all, the scientific payload has a mass of 750 kg with six instruments.

The Isro is working on a joint project with Nasa to develop a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for launch in 2021. The Isro is also planning to send a Rover to the Moon soon.

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