The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced that it is now ready to launch its first astronomy satellite ASTROSAT.
The agency said that the satellite will blast off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, SHAR at 10 AM on Monday, Sept. 28, onboard PSLV-C30, which will carry the satellite into a 650 km.(404 miles) orbit.
Deviprasad Karnik, ISRO's Public Relations director said that all preparations for the historic launch is in progress with the Mission Readiness Review Committee scheduled to meet up on Sept. 24 to decide for the countdown process of the vehicle.
Astrosat is being dubbed as India's Hubble being the country's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observation satellite.
A collaboration of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), the Hubble Space telescope has so far been making crucial contributions in the field of astronomy as it discovers new galaxies. Compared with Hubble's optimal mirror which measures 2.4 m in diameter, Astrosat's is about 30 cm or 11.8 inches.
With Astrosat, India will be included in the ranks of countries with such a satellite in space. Japan has Suzaku and Russia has Spektr R.
Astrosat is capable of conducting observations in Ultraviolet (UV), optical, low and high energy X-ray wavebands all at the same time.
Astrosat will study distant stars, pulsars and white dwarfs. The 1.5 ton satellite will measure the magnetic fields of neuron stars and understand high energy processes that occur in binary and extragalactic systems.
It will also train its instruments at the active galactic nuclei at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, where a supermassive black hole is believed to exist.
"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," reads the ISRO website.
The expected operating lifetime of Astrosat is five years. The satellite comes with five astronomy payloads for simultaneous multi-band observation, which include the Large Area Xenon Proportional Counter (LAXPC), Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT), Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM), and Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI).
"The mission envisages an earth orbiting scientific satellite with payloads capable of simultaneously observing the universe in the visible, ultraviolet and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum," an ISRO official said.
Six other customer satellites including one each from Indonesia and Canada and four from the U.S will ride along with Astrosat.