The 50 hour countdown activity of the PSLV-C30/ASTROSAT mission started early today morning at 8:00 a.m. Dedicated to astronomy, the satellite is a miniature version of the Hubble, the US-European joint space observatory that has discovered new galaxies and improved understanding of the universe.
The Mission will be launched through the Polar Satellite Lauch Vehicle (PSLV)-C30.
The countdown started after the Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) cleared it on Friday.
PSLV-C30 carrying ASTOSAT will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota at 10.00 a.m on Monday September 28th.
The Rs 178 crore Astrosat is India’s first space observatory. Dedicated to astronomy, the satellite is a miniature version of the Hubble, the US-European joint space observatory that has discovered new galaxies and improved understanding of the universe.
India’s observatory will be the fourth in space, after the Hubble, Russia’s Spektr R and Suzaku of Japan.
Astrosat, initially planned for 2005, has been delayed by a decade, as the scientific community struggled to build with precision the instruments needed for such operations, according to reports.
The instruments, spreading across ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths, will study black holes, neutron stars, quasars, white dwarfs and pulsars.
“Astrosat is special due to the choice of instruments to study in multi-wave lengths — UV rays, visible and X-rays — which even the Hubble doesn’t have,” A S Kiran Kumar, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), said in a recent interview. “The instruments allow simultaneous observation of cosmic sources, an area in which other observatories currently have limitations.”