India launches Astrosat, six other satellites

PSLV C-30 carrying India's satellite Astrosat launched from Sriharikota.

SRIHARIKOTA: India on Monday launched its first astronomy satellite Astrosat, eleven years after the government cleared the project.

A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30) carrying Astrosat and six other satellites lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

In around 25 minutes after liftoff, PSLV-C30 injected Astrosat and other satellites — four US nano satellites, a microsatellite from Indonesia a nanosatellite from Canada – into their respective orbits. This is the first time India is launching a US satellite.

Astrosat was placed in an orbit 644.651km from earth, as desired. The satellite achieved an expected inclination of 6.002 degree.

“The mission is successful. It is a well-professed and synchronous efforts.” Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P Kunhikrishnan said after the launch.

Astrosat, which had a lift-off mass of 1,513kg, will now embark on a five-year astronomy mission studying distant celestial objects.

It will observe the universe in the optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy x-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, compared to most other scientific satellites that are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band.


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