New Delhi: Taking another step forward in the country's rapidly growing space programme, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday successfully launched its Astrosat, India's first space observatory into the orbit.
Along with Astrosat, six others foreign satellites – four identical nano-satellites of Spire Global Inc., the US, a micro-satellite from Indonesia and a nano-satellite of the University of Toronto, Canada were also placed in the orbit.
Below are five key points that you should know about the mission:
1. Astrosat is India's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory and was successfully launched on board a PSLV-C30 rocket on 28 September 2015. With this, India became the fourth country in the world to have launched its own space observatory after the US, Russia and Japan.
2. The multi-wavelength observatory will study distant stars, white dwarfs and pulsars. However, the mission's main goal is to study the massive black hole believed to be existing at the core of the Milky Way.
3. The scientific payload has a total mass of 750 kg and contains six instruments- four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor.
4. The life span of the mission is of five years.
5. The spacecraft control centre at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore will manage the satellite during its mission life.