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ISRO Successfully Launches ASTROSAT
Sep 29, 2015

In its 31st flight PSLV-C30 (India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) on September 28 successfully launched the country's Multi Wavelength Space Observatory along with six foreign customer satellites into a   644.6 x 651.5 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 degrees to the equator.  This was the 30th consecutive success for PSLV.

Salient Features

  • ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory.

  • This scientific satellite mission endeavours for a more detailed understanding of our universe.

  • ASTROSAT is designed to observe the universe in the Visible, Ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum simultaneously with the help of its five payloads.

  • PSLV was launched in its heaviest ‘XL’ version with six strap-on motors of the first stage.

  • The 320 tonne, 45 metre tall PSLV-C30 carrying  seven satellites including the 1513 kg ASTROSAT, lifted off at 10:00 Hrs IST.

  • About 22 minutes after lift-off, ASTROSAT was successfully placed in orbit and separated from the fourth stage of PSLV-C30. 

  • This satellite is very unique and loaded with sophisticated and sensitive astronomical equipment.

  • ASTROSAT will observe the universe in optical, ultraviolet low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, while most other scientific satellites are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band.

  • It will send back data and study parts of the universe including black holes and the magnetic fields of stars.

  • Soon after its separation from PSLV-C30, the two solar arrays of ASTROSAT were automatically deployed and the Spacecraft Control Centre at the Mission Operations Complex of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took control of ASTROSAT.

  • In the coming days, ASTROSAT will be brought to the final operational configuration and all its five scientific payloads will be thoroughly tested before the commencement of regular operations.]

  • ASTROSAT's instrumentation is designed to sweep the universe across the ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths.

  • Its mission brief will be to study the mysterious workings of black holes, neutron stars, quasars, white dwarfs and pulsars.

  • So far, only the US, Japan, Russia and European Union have launched a space observatory.

Equipment in ASTROSAT

  • Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT): Capable of observing the sky in the Visible, Near Ultraviolet and Far Ultraviolet spectrums.

  • Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC): To study variations in the emission of X-rays from sources like X-ray binaries, Active Galactic Nuclei and other cosmic sources.

  • Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT): To study how X-ray spectrum of the 0.3-8 keV range coming from distant celestial bodies varies with time.

  • Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI): Extends capability of the satellite to sense X-rays of high energy in 10-100 keV range.

  • Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM): to detect bright X-ray sources in binary stars + detect and locate sources of bright shirt term X-ray bursts.

So far, 51 satellites have been launched by PSLV for customers from abroad. The launch of six co-passenger satellites by PSLV-C30 was facilitated by Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO.

Through 30 successful flights during 1994-2015 period, PSLV has launched a total of 84 satellites including these seven satellites. The vehicle has repeatedly proved its reliability and versatility by successfully launching satellites into a variety of orbits including polar Sun Synchronous, Geosynchronous Transfer and Low Earth orbits of small inclination thereby emerging as the workhorse launch vehicle of India.  


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