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Leicester set to fly high in India’s first ever Astronomy mission

LEICESTER will be part of India’s first ever national Astronomy mission!

The University of Leicester were tasked to produce highly specialised equipment for the Indian mission – and officials from the country flew in to the city to collect the equipment for their first national astronomy satellite- Astrosat.

The five instruments in Astrosat’s payload will observe exotic objects and phenomena 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 Indian Space Research Organisation approached the University of Leicester Space Research Centre to undertake the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) camera development. Due to Leicester’s acclaimed track record in specialised X-ray camera design with successful missions, the University was able to provide the expertise and support to build the CCD camera for the SXT on Astrosat.

The University of Leicester has invested a significant amount of expertise into this Anglo-Indian collaboration of which Guy Peters, Astrosat Project Manager-UK said: “Leicester’s involvement with Astrosat is hugely significant, not just for the University, but for Leicester as a whole. It speaks volumes for the scientific and technological expertise housed at the University of Leicester that we have been sought-out to develop this equipment. It is something the whole city can be proud of.”

With the astronomy mission expected to launch later this year, the team at the University of Leicester will fly out to India later this year.

Mr Peters added: “Here in Leicester we are a young team gaining experience on a major project.  Astrosat has provided a really exciting opportunity for the team and we hope the success of this mission will provide opportunities for further collaborations in the future”.  

 

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