Scheduled to be launched later this year, ASTROSAT, the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying distant celestial objects is now fully assembled.
- Astrosat is India’s first dedicated astronomy satellite and is scheduled to launch on board the PSLV in October 2015.
- ASTROSAT would be India’s first multiwavelength astronomy satellite. It will facilitate simultaneous observations of celestial bodies and cosmic sources in X-ray and UV spectral bands.
- It will be placed in a 650-km (400 miles) orbit with an 8° inclination for spectroscopic studies of X-ray binaries, supernova remnants, quasars, pulsars, galaxy clusters and active galactic nuclei at a number of different wavelengths simultaneously, from the ultraviolet band to energetic x-rays.
Astrosat will be a proposal-driven general purpose observatory, with main scientific focus on:
- Simultaneous multi-wavelength monitoring of intensity variations in a broad range of cosmic sources
- Monitoring the X-ray sky for new transients
- Sky surveys in the hard X-ray and UV bands
- Broadband spectroscopic studies of X-ray binaries, AGN, SNRs, clusters of galaxies and stellar coronae
- Studies of periodic and non-periodic variability of X-ray sources
- It is significant to note that ASTROSAT is the first mission to be operated as a space observatory by ISRO.
- ASTROSAT carries four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor.
The mission will put India in an elite orbit with the U.S., Europe, Russia and Japan.
Sources: The Hindu, astrosat, ISRO.