Oct 13 2015

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India’s first orbital observatory working fine

India’s first space observatory in good shape, performing science ops. Unlike MOM, which carries rudimentary payloads and was more of a “can we get something to Mars’ orbit” demonstration, AeroSat seems to provide more scientific bang.

“The pictures in UV are expected be a little better than those obtained from NASA’s GALEX [Galaxy Evolution Explorer], and will also have many more spectral bands in UV. In X-rays these are expected to be at best comparable to that of Suzaku [Japan’s X-ray astronomy observatory] in soft X-rays, and [NASA’s] Swift’s BAT [Burst Alert Telescope] in hard X-rays,” Singh said.

Here’s an image of the Crab Nebula in hard X-rays courtesy of AeroSat:


And here is something maybe even more interesting:

He also revealed that ISRO is planning another space observatories that would be developed together with the scientific community. The agency eyes smaller individual payloads that will be focused on a particular topic.

The small-sat approach to astronomy will be something to watch (pun intended). I think with astronomy missions in particular, lots of little payloads may not be as efficient as one big payload, other than the obvious advantage of being able to look in more directions at once.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/13/indias-first-orbital-observatory-working-fine/

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