India successfully launches its first space observatory Astrosat into orbit

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday successfully launched its first space observatory ‘Astrosat’ into the orbit.

India successfully launches its first space observatory Astrosat into orbit
Also Read: Five key points you need to know about Astrosat mission

Exactly at 10 a.m. a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30) carrying Astrosat and six other 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 blasted off from the first launch pad at the rocket port here, around 80 km from Chennai.

Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket slug ASTROSAT at an altitude of 650 km above the earth.

Soon after, six other satellites were also put into orbit and the whole mission ended in just over 25 minutes.

With the successful launch of ASTROSAT, India gained an entry into the select club of nations having its own space observatory after the US, Japan, Russia and Europe.

The launch was witnessed by Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Choudhry, who later congratulated the ISRO scientists and said the space programme was “exactly going as per our present Prime Minister’s vision and plan” and what he has said in the United States yesterday.

Declaring the launch successful, a beaming ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said PSLV had put in an astronomy mission which is being looked at not only within the country but also globally to bring in new information to scientific community.

“I congratulate the entire ISRO community for the wonderful job they have done,” he said addressing the gathering at the Mission Control Centre.

The Astrosat has the ability to observe celestial bodies like distant stars and cosmic X-Ray sources in different wavelengths simultaneously.

Incidentally, this is the first time that an Indian rocket launched satellites from the US.

Till date, India has launched 45 foreign satellites for a fee.

With a life span of five years, Astrosat will observe the universe through optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray components of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing through a narrow wavelength band, the agency said.