ASTROSAT crossed a major milestone – Spacecraft fully assembled and tests initiated
ASTROSAT is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying distant celestial objects. The mission is capable of performing observations in Ultraviolet (UV), optical, low and high energy X-ray wavebands at the same time. The satellite is planned to be launched during the second half of 2015 by PSLV C-34 to a 650 km near equatorial orbit around the Earth. It is significant to note that ASTROSAT is the first mission to be operated as a space observatory by ISRO.
All the payloads and sub-systems are integrated to the satellite. Mechanical fit checks of the satellite with PSLV payload adaptor were performed successfully. Last week, the spacecraft was fully assembled and switched ON. Spacecraft parameters are normal, which indicates everything is functioning well. In the coming days, Spacecraft will undergo several environmental tests like Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) – Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Thermal Vacuum, Vibration, Acoustic tests before shipment to Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
ASTROSAT carries four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor. Apart from ISRO, four other Indian institutions, viz., Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Raman Research Institute (RRI) are involved in payload development. Two of the payloads are in collaboration with Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and University of Leiscester (UoL), UK.