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AstroSat is India’s first dedicated Space Astronomy Observatory launched into a 650-km, 6° inclination orbit on September 28, 2015, with a lift-off mass of 1515 kg, by PSLV-C30 (XL) rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota. AstroSat carries a total of five scientific payloads enabling imaging, studying temporal and spectral properties of galactic and extra- galactic cosmic sources in a wide range of wavelengths on a common platform.
The unique feature of this observatory is its capability for carrying out broad band simultaneous multi-wavelength observation going from far ultra violet to gamma rays. UVIT has the highest angular resolution of 1.5 arc sec which is 3 times better than the next best UV telescope (GALEX-Galaxy evolution explorer) operational today. LAXPC has the highest collecting area in comparison to any other X-ray detector till today. CZTI possesses a unique capability of measuring X-ray polarization and also acts as an open detector beyond 100 keV.
ISRO enabled Indian academic institutions Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) Bangalore, Inter University Centre for Astronomy &Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune and Physical research laboratory (PRL) Ahmedabad
Fig: Image showing AstroSat spacecraft with various payloads.
AstroSat is operated as a proposal based observatory. The proposals for AstroSat data are solicited through anouncement of regular opportunity. The received proposals are reviewed by AstroSat Time Allocation Committee (ATAC) and AstroSat Target of Opportunity (TOO) supported by AstroSat Technical Committee (ATC).
Mission operations centre at ISTRAC Bengaluru manages the task of operating AstroSat, as celestial objects space observatory in a low inclination Earth orbit and provides all scientific data to user community through International Space Science Data Centre(ISSDC). The task of optimising the spacecraft operations to enable maximum availability of observing instruments to seekers of observation is handled through mission operations team.
AstroSat spacecraft has the following five payloads:
Statewise distribution of AstroSat users from India (Sept, 2022)
Nation-wise distribution of AstroSat users as of Sept, 2022
Major Scientific results from ASTROSAT
Some of the major interesting discoveries from AstroSat are mentioned below: