The first Indian satellite dedicated to astronomy, ASTROSAT, was launched from Sriharikota in the Bay of Bengal. ASTROSAT has a 5 year mission of life.
The craft is equipped with five instruments to study astrophysical phenomena over a range of wavelengths simultaneously. It is armed with telescopes to study space in visible light and high-energy X-rays, enabling it to detect emissions and y-ray bursts.
The Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO’s) Data Centre in Bangalore will be the initial repository of all data which it will further distribute to 4 operation centres around India. ISRO director Myiswamy Annadurai said, “the sky scanner will start gathering data in a few days, followed by the 4 telescopes, the last of which, the UV telescope, will be turned on in 2 months”.
Expectations are high among astronomers in India and abroad as “ASTROSAT”, open a new chapter in the Indian space astronomy.