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5 things you need to know about India's first space observatory

By T E Narasimhan
Last updated on: September 28, 2015 14:23 IST
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This mission will study astronomical phenomena, puts India in select group of nations

Astrosat is compared to NASA's Hubble telescope. Photograph: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday successfully launched the Astrosat satellite. Through this launch, India has joined a select group of countries that have their own space observatory satellite. Here are five things you need to know about Astrosat.

1.
This is India's first attempt at setting up an observatory in space, a place from where it can study cosmological phenomena.
2.
The mission is aimed at obtaining data that will help in a better understanding of the universe. The mission is to study astronomical phenomena. Astrosat is carrying five payloads, including an ultraviolet imaging telescope.
3.
Astrosat is generally described as India’s version of the Hubble telescope that NASA had put in space in 1990.

But experts say it is not right to call Astrosat India's Hubble, as the NASA version is 10 times heavier than Astrosat and is said to cost $2.5 billion, while India's satellite costs around Rs 180 crore.
4.
Astrosat will put ISRO in a very exclusive club of nations that have space-based observatories. Only the United States, European Space Agency, Japan and Russia have such observatories in space..
5.
For the third time an Indian rocket will be launching seven satellites in a single mission. In 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites in one go, including India's Cartosate-2A satellite.
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T E Narasimhan in Chennai
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