ISRO successfully launches PSLV-C58 XPoSat mission 

The launch put India in an elite category as it has become the second nation to send an observatory to study astronomical sources such as black holes, neutron stars among others

January 01, 2024 09:40 am | Updated 09:48 pm IST - Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh)

ISRO’s PSLV-C58 carrying an X-ray polarimeter satelite and 10 other satelites lifts off from the spaceposrt of Sriharikota, on January 1, 2024.

ISRO’s PSLV-C58 carrying an X-ray polarimeter satelite and 10 other satelites lifts off from the spaceposrt of Sriharikota, on January 1, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) kicked off the new year with the launch of the PSLV-C58 X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) mission on January 1, 2024.

The PSLV, in its 60th mission, lifted off at 9.10 a.m. on Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and 22 minutes later launched the XPoSat into an eastward low inclination orbit.

“On January 1, 2024 yet another successful mission of the PSLV has been accomplished. The PSLV-C58 has placed the primary satellite XPoSat in the desired orbit of 650 km with six-degree inclination,” ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said after the successful launch.

Also read: ISRO XPoSat | A thrilling New Year day for Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Technology for Women in Kerala capital

XPoSat is the first dedicated scientific satellite from ISRO to carry out research in space-based polarisation measurements of X-ray emission from celestial sources. It carries two payloads, namely POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing). POLIX has been developed by the Raman Research Institute and XSPECT is by the Space Astronomy Group of URSC, Bengaluru.

The successful launch of the XPoSAT put India in an elite category as it has become the second nation to send an observatory to study astronomical sources such as black holes, neutron stars among others.

XPoSat is only the second X-ray polarimetry mission in the world, after NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) launched in 2021.

10 payloads

During the mission, the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) experiment was also executed to meet the objective of 10 other payloads.

ISRO said that after injection of XPoSat in 650 km, 6 deg orbit, PS4 stage was lowered to 350 km, by restarting PS4 twice.

PS4 stage is configured as a 3-axis stabilised orbital platform for conducting experiments to space qualify systems with novel ideas.

The PSLV also launched 10 payloads developed by start-ups, education institutions and ISRO centres.

They are: the Radiation Shielding Experimental Module (RSEM) by TakeMe2Space, Women Engineered Satellite (WESAT) by LBS Institute of Technology for Women, BeliefSa-t0 Amateur radio satellite by K.J. Somaiya Institute of Technology, Green Impulse TrAnsmitter (GITA) by Inspecity Space Labs Private Limited, Launching Expeditions for Aspiring Technologies -Technology Demonstrator (LEAP-TD) by Dhruva Space Private Limited, RUDRA 0.3 HPGP by Bellatrix Aerospace Private Limited, ARKA-200 by Bellatrix Aerospace Private Limited, Dust Experiment (DEX) by PRL, ISRO Fuel cell Power System (FCPS) by VSSC, ISRO and Si-based High Energy cell by VSSC, ISRO.

Space station

Among these, the FCPS payload is significant as it has potential applications in India’s space station which is proposed to come up by 2035.

“There are some important payloads like FCPS which we will be demonstrating in the POEM phase when PS4 is used as a platform. The FCPS will have potential applications in our future like space station,” said Dr. S. Unnikrishnan Nair of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

Mr. Somanath said that 2024 would be the year of Gaganyaan readiness, which is India’s Human Space Mission, as the space agency would carry out two more test flights of Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission (TV-D) followed by unmanned flights. 

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