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ISRO to take Israeli telescope on GSAT-4 satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation recently signed an MoU with the Israel Space Agency (ISA) to include an Israeli telescope on board India’s GSAT-4 satellite planned for launch in 2005. The Tel Aviv University Ultra Violet Experiment (TAUVEX), a set of three wide field ultra-violet (UV) telescopes, will be installed along with ISRO’s own communication experiments on GSAT-4 to be hurled into space by the indigenous Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle, a ISRO statement said here.

The MoU, signed by the ISRO Chairman, Mr G Madhavan Nair and the ISA Director General, Mr Aby Har-Even at Antariksh Bhavan here, was witnessed by Israel’s Science and Technology Minister Eliezer Sandberg.

The data from the telescope will help understand astro-physical questions related to star formation, history of galaxies, physics of giant blackholes, among others, and can also help in guiding other space telescopes towards selected interesting objects in the sky, ISRO said.

The scientific data from TAUVEX will be useful for the Indian scientists to analyse the UV data and prepare themselves to receive and analyse data from India’s own astronomy satellite, ASTROSAT, which also planned to carry an ultra-violet imaging telescope besides other instruments, it said.