ISRO plans to develop next-generation astronomy satellite; Know about India’s first astronomy mission AstroSat

ISRO is planning to develop a next-generation astronomy satellite. Also know all about India’s first astronomy mission AstroSat.

Created On: Oct 2, 2021 12:42 ISTModified On: Oct 5, 2021 16:05 IST
ISRO plans to develop next-generation astronomy satellite
ISRO plans to develop next-generation astronomy satellite

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to develop a next-generation astronomy satellite. ISRO had launched its first mission for the purpose of astronomy AstroSat on September 28, 2015. The mission has a life of five years. It is still functional. “AstroSat is expected to last some more years. We can expect some more results to come which will be path-breaking,” said AS Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO and Mission Lead, AstroSat.

On the possibility of ISRO launching the next mission for astronomy, Kumar said, “Not AstroSat-2. Next Generation.”

About AstroSat, India’s first satellite for astronomy

Launch Date, Launch Vehicle of AstroSat

AstroSat, India’s first satellite for astronomy was successfully launched on September 28, 2015, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It was launched on 6 foreign satellites by ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C30 (PSLV-C30). It has completed five years in September 2020.

With a resolution three times more than NASA’s Galex mission, AstroSat has mapped star clusters, explored satellite galaxies of the Milky Way called Magellanic Clouds. With the launch of AstroSat, India joined the league of countries with space observatories namely the US, Russia, Japan, and the European Space Agency.

Functions of AstroSat

AstroSat is a multi-wavelength space observatory. It has been designed to observe celestial bodies such as distant stars through optical, ultraviolet, low and high-energy X-ray components of the electromagnetic spectrum. The data provided by AstroSat is widely used for studying various fields of astronomy, from galactic to extra-galactic.

AstroSat had detected extreme-UV light from one of the farthest star galaxies known as AUDFs01. The galaxy is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth. An international team of astronomers including scientists from India, the US, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Japan led by Dr Kanak Saha at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune had made the discovery and reported in ‘Nature Astronomy’.

For the very first time, AstroSat has also detected rapid variability of high energy (particularly >20keV) X-ray emission from a black hole system.

Payloads of AstroSat

AstroSat has been equipped with scientific payloads including six key instruments such as sky monitors, X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes, and special imager. The six key instruments have jointly been developed by ISRO, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

The six instruments are Charged Particle Monitor (CPM), Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM), LAXPC Instrument, UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), and Soft X-ray imaging Telescope (SXT).

Orbit, Mission Life of AstroSat

AstroSat has been placed in Low-Earth Equatorial Orbit at an altitude of 650 km. The mission life of AstroSat has been designed for five years.

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