Naming of Aryabhata
The satellite was named after the Indian mathematician-astronomer Aryabhata (476-550 AD). The 5th Century Indian mathematician and astronomer is best known for explaining the phenomenon of lunar and solar eclipses and for calculating the value of Pi correct to 4 decimal places.
Structure of Aryabhata
Aryabhata weighed 360 kg. The spacecraft was a 26-sided polygon 1.4 m in diameter. All faces (except the top and bottom) were covered with solar cells which generated electricity for the satellite's 46W power supply system. A power failure halted experiments after 4 days in orbit. All signals from the spacecraft were lost after 5 days of operation. The satellite re-entered the Earths atmosphere on 11 February 1992.
Purpose of Aryabhata
Aryabhata was built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to conduct experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics and solar physics. It was instrumented to explore conditions in the Earths ionosphere, measure neutrons and gamma rays from the Sun and perform investigations in X-ray astronomy. The scientific instruments had to be switched off during the 5th day in orbit because of a failure in the satellites electrical power system. Useful information nevertheless was collected during the five days of its operation.
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