ISRO and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) have agreed to cooperate for including the Tel Aviv University Ultra Violet Experiment, TAUVEX, on board ISRO’s GSAT-4 satellite planned for launch by India’s Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) during 2005. An MOU for including the TAUVEX on GSAT-4 was signed by Mr G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO and Mr Aby Har-Even, Director General, ISA at Antariksh Bhavan, Bangalore, the Headquarters of ISRO. ISRAEL’s Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Eliezer Sandberg was present at the signing ceremony. The MOU follows the cooperative agreement signed between ISRO and ISA in October 2002. GSAT-4 will incorporate the TAUVEX along with ISRO’s own communication experiments.
The TAUVEX is a telescope that will image the sky in the Ultra-Violet (UV) spectrum. The data from the telescope will help in solving astrophysical questions related to star formation, history of galaxies, physics of giant black holes, etc. It could also help in guiding other space telescopes towards selected interesting objects in the sky.
The scientific data from TAUVEX will be useful for the Indian scientists to analyze the UV data and prepare themselves to receive and analyze data from India’s own astronomy satellite, ASTROSAT, which is also planned to carry an Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope besides other instruments. The data from TAUVEX will be shared between scientists of both the countries.