Indian space engineers start work on countrys first national Astronomy satellite

February 5th, 2009 - 1:20 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 5 (ANI): A team of space engineers from India has arrived in England to work with a team from the University of Leicester to start work on Astrosat, which is Indias first national Astronomy satellite.

The team, from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, will assemble key components of Astrosat, which is due for launch in 2009.

The engineers will work on the next phase of the mission, when hardware manufactured in India arrives in Leicester for inspection, testing and assembly into a space qualified X-ray camera.

In several months, when the camera has been assembled and the Leicester built detector assembly and control electronics installed, it will be tested to space qualified standards and shipped back to India for integration into the spacecraft, said Guy Peters, Astrosat SXT Project Manager UK.

According to Sangam Sinha from the Tata Institute, Astrosat is critical to the Indian space programme as it is the first satellite entirely dedicated to the pursuit of science.

Astrosat also forms the beginning of a long term collaboration between TIFR and the University of Leicester through which it is hoped that many more missions will be undertaken jointly by the Indian and UK teams, he added.

Astrosat will carry five instruments to observe exotic objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and active galaxies at a number of different wavelengths simultaneously, from the ultraviolet band to energetic x-rays.

The camera was designed by the University of Leicester and the manufacture of the hardware components was undertaken by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

In addition to the manufacture of the camera hardware, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research has built the main telescope body and mirror.

The University of Leicester is to assemble the camera, support the project through consultancy and calibrate the camera at the Space Research Centre. (ANI)

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