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ASTROSAT - 10 Things You Need To Know

Published on Tuesday, September 29, 2015
ASTROSAT, India's first dedicated multi wave length space observatory, was launched on 28 September, 2015 at 10 am from the space-port of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.


  • India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30), in its 31st flight carried ASTROSAT and six other satellites.
  • The launch took place from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC Shar) in Sriharikota, space port of India.
  • In around 25 minutes after lift-off (22 minutes for ASTROSAT and subsequent 3 minutes for other six satellites) , PSLV-C30 injected the ASTROSAT and six other satellites into their respective orbit.
  • The other six satellites are - four nano satellites from United States, a micro satellite from Indonesia and a nano satellite from Canada.


  • ASTROSAT is a cuboid shaped satellite with a lift-off mass of about 1513 kg.
  • It was first injected into a 650 km orbit (at an angle of 6 deg to the equator), followed by other six satellites in the space.
  • It is a 5 year astronomy mission for the detailed understanding of the universe.
  • It can perform multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects.
  • The Project Director of ASTROSAT is Mr K S Sarma.
  • The cost of ASTROSAT is Rs. 180 crore/ USD 27 million.

  • It aims at understanding the high energy processes in binary star system containing neutron stars and black holes
  • It will help in estimating magnetic fields of neutron stars.
  • It helps to study star birth region and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond the Milky way galaxy.
  • It also intends to detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky, to perform a deep field survey of the universe in the ultra violet region.

ASTROSAT Five Payloads:

ASTROSAT carries five payloads :

1) The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope(UVIT) - It is capable of observing the sky in the Visible, Near Ultraviolet and Far Ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

- It is jointly developed by Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA),Bengluru and Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) of Pune in collaboration with Canadian Space Agency and ISRO.

2) Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter(LAXPC)- It is designed to study the variation in the emission of X-rays from sources like X-ray binaries, Active Galactic Nuclei and other cosmic sources.

- It is developed by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai and Raman Research Institute (RRI),Bengluru.

3) Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) - It is designed for studying how the X-ray spectrum of 0.3-8 keV range coming from distant celestial bodies varies with them.

- It is developed by TIFR in collaboration with the University of Leicester,UK and ISRO. 

4) Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI)- functioning in the X-ray region, extends the capability of the satellite to sense the X-rays of high energy in 10-100 keV range.

-It is developed by TIFR and IUCCA in collaboration with ISRO.

5) Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) - It is intended to scan the sky for long term monitoring of bright X-ray sources in binary stars, and for the detection and location of sources that become bright in X-rays for a short duration of time.

- It is jointly developed by ISRO satellite centre at Bengluru and IUCAA.

About Other Six Satellites:

  • Canada's NLS-14 nano satellite - It is from the Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies (SFL,UTIAS), Canada. It is maritime monitoring Nano satellite using the Next Generation Automatic Identification System.(AIS)
  • Indonesia's LAPAN-A2 micro satellite - It is from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space-LAPAN,Indonesia meant for providing maritime surveillance using AIS,supporting Indonesian radio amateur communities for disaster mitigation and carrying out Earth Surveillance using video and digital camera.
  • United States's four identical nano satellite - Four LEMUR nano satellite is from Spire Global Inc. San Francisco (US) are non-visual remote sensing satellites focusing primarily on global maritime intelligence through vessel tracking via AIS, and high fidelity weather forecasting using GPS Radio Occultation technology.

About PSLV-C30:

  • The 320 tonne, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30) is 45m tall.
  • PSLV-C30 carried seven satellites together weighing about 1631 kg at lift off.
  • PSLV is launched in its heaviest 'XL' version.
  • PSLV has launched a total of 84 satellites including these seven satellites, out of which 30 successful flights during 1994-2015 period.
  • The launch of six co-passenger satellites by PSLV-C30 was facilitated by Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO.

About ISRO:

  • It was established on 15th August,1969
  • It was founded by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.
  • The current Chairman of ISRO is Mr A S Kiran Kumar.
  • The headquarters of ISRO is in Bengluru.
  • Motto of ISRO is Space Technology in the Service of Human Kind.
  • ISRO has launched satellite for the US for the first time.

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