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India to launch its first space observatory next week

Updated: 2015-09-21 22:42

NEW DELHI - India will launch its first space observatory Astrosat next week, a senior space official said Monday.

"The 1.5-ton space observatory will be launched by the Indian Space Research Organization on board the country's indigenous PSLV rocket from the southern spaceport of Shriharikota on September 28, " the official said, on condition of anonymity.

"The observatory will study celestial bodies once it is placed successfully into a 650 km orbit. Six more satellites -- one each from Indonesia and Canada, and four from the United States -- will also be launched on board the rocket," he added.

If successful, India will join the elite club of three countries -- the United States, Russia and Japan -- which have launched a space observatory.

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