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ASTROSAT - 10 Things You Need To Know

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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