PSLV-C58 launches the satellite into the intended orbit and uses it to monitor stars and X-rays.
The first X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to investigate X-ray polarization and its cosmic sources, including black holes and neutron stars, was successfully launched at the start of the new year.
The XPoSat was placed in an exact circular orbit of 650 kilometers by ISRO‘s well-known launch vehicle, PSLV-C58, on Monday morning after it took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The journey lasted 21 minutes.
After NASA’s 2021 launch of the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), the XPoSat is only the second mission of its kind around the globe. It has two payloads: X-ray spectroscopy and timing (XSPECT) and the Indian X-ray polarimeter (POLIX). The Raman Research Institute and the UR Rao Satellite Centre, both located in Bengaluru, constructed these.
“The PSLV successfully completed a mission on January 1, 2024. The main satellite, XPoSat, has been launched into the intended orbit by PSLV C58, according to ISRO Chairman S. Somanath.
“The inclination of 0.001 degree and the departure from the intended orbit are barely 3 km, making this an acceptable orbital state. The satellite’s solar panel has also been successfully deployed.
“We’ve only just started this year, and there will be a lot more launches. Additionally, he declared that 2024 would be “the year of Gaganyaan,” alluding to India’s inaugural human spaceflight program. As you are all aware, the TV-D1 mission took place last year. This year, we plan to conduct two additional test flights of the test vehicle, which will be followed by the unmanned Gaganyaan program mission.
According to Somanath, this year will see the launches of its new SSLV, PSLV, and GSLV.
“ISRO launches in style in 2024! The launch of the PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission was successful. Union Minister of State for the Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, expressed his pride at being connected to the Department of Space at a time when Team ISRO is experiencing success after success thanks to PM Narendra Modi’s personal intervention and support.
Following XPoSat‘s injection into orbit, the launch vehicle’s fourth stage was fired twice to lower the spacecraft to a 350-km orbit, where it will serve as an experimental platform. The Indian space agency brought down the experiments in order to shorten their stay in orbit, even though they could have been left in the same orbit as XPoSat. After the platform’s approximately one-month mission is over and any leftover fuel has been disposed of, it can be returned to Earth.
“As a responsible space agency, we decided to bring the fourth stage to a lower orbit so that the life of the stage in the orbit is much less so that we do not create debris,” Somanath stated. The POEM experiment may have been conducted in the same orbit.
The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) platform has been utilized by the ISRO to showcase innovations in space for the third time. Somanath stated that the fuel cell power system developed by ISRO‘s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre was a prototype for upcoming space station power systems. By 2035, India intends to establish a space station.
The Women Engineered Satellite (WESAT), created by the LBS Institute of Technology for Women, is one of the POEM’s studies that compares sun irradiance and UV index. A silicon-based high-energy cell by VSSC, an inter-planetary durst count experiment by the Physical Research Laboratory, three propulsion systems by space start-ups, an amateur radio, and a radiation shielding experiment are among the other experiments.
“The ISRO stated that POEM-3 is being scripted.”
After the 2015 launch of AstroSat and the recent solar mission Aditya-L1, XPoSat will be India’s third space-based observatory.
Understanding the polarization of astronomical X-rays can help us understand the mechanisms that led to their production. It is a technique for researching astronomical phenomena that involves visualizing them as well as examining light fluctuations from a source and the energy that celestial bodies radiate.