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The 50-hour countdown for the launch of Astrosat, India’s first dedicated satellite for the study of astronomy, will begin at 8 this morning at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The satellite will be put into a low-earth, equatorial orbit by the polar satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C30. It will be launched at 10 AM on Monday. The mission life of Astrosat weighing 1513 kilogram is five years, and is aimed at studying black holes, neutron stars and extra-galactic systems by making observations in the optical, ultraviolet and X-Ray frequencies. Its co-passengers on the PSLV-C30 would be six smaller satellites of foreign nations including four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada.