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Indian ASTROSAT project gains ground

The Union Cabinet today approved the Astronomy Satellite (ASTROSAT) project costing Rs 177.85 crore with a foreign exchange component of Rs 106.59 crore.

The project, an approved programme under the Tenth Plan, envisages design, development, fabrication and launch of a multi-wavelength astronomical observatory satellite for studies of cosmic sources. The satellite will enable studies of stellar objects simultaneously covering a range of high energy radiations.

The ASTROSAT, to be developed and launched by ISRO, will be a National Observatory in Space which will be available for astronomical observations on any research in India.

Although most of the ASTROSAT observing time will be for the use of Indian researchers, a part of it will also be made available to international astronomical community on a selective basis to foster international cooperation in the area of space science research.

The launch of ASTROSAT mission is targetted for 2007.