ISRO launches ‘Gaganyaan year’ with XPoSat, India’s eye in deep space | Technology News

    ISRO launches ‘Gaganyaan year’ with XPoSat, India’s eye in deep space | Technology News

    THE INDIAN Space Research Organisation (ISRO) began the new year with the successful launch of its first X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), which will study X-ray polarisation and its cosmic sources such as black holes and neutron stars.

    Lifting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota Monday morning, ISRO’s popular launch vehicle PSLV-C58 put the XPoSat in a precise circular orbit of 650 km after a 21-minute flight.

    The XPoSat is only the world’s second such mission after the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) launched by NASA in 2021. It comprises two payloads, including Indian X-ray Polarimeter (POLIX) and X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing (XSPECT). These have been built by Raman Research Institute and UR Rao Satellite Centre, both in Bengaluru.

    “On 1st January 2024 yet another successful mission of the PSLV has been accomplished. PSLV C58 has placed the primary satellite XPoSat in the desired orbit,” said ISRO Chairman S Somanath.

    “The deviation from the targeted orbit is hardly 3 km and inclination is 0.001 degree which is one of the excellent orbital conditions. The solar panel of the satellite has also been deployed successfully.”

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    “This year has just begun and we are going to have many more launches. And, 2024 is going to be the year of Gaganyaan,” he said referring to India’s first human spaceflight programme. “As you all know, the TV-D1 mission happened last year and this year we are expecting two more such test flights of the Test Vehicle followed by the unmanned mission of Gaganyaan programme.”

    Somanath said there will be PSLV, GSLV, as well as its new SSLV launches this year.

    “ISRO begins 2024 in Style! Successful launch of PSLV-C58/ XPoSat Mission. Proud to be associated with the Department of Space at a time when Team ISRO continues to accomplish one success after the other, with the personal intervention and patronage from PM Narendra Modi,” Union Minister of State for Department of Space Dr Jitendra Singh said.

    After injecting XPoSat in its orbit, the fourth stage of the launch vehicle was fired twice to bring it down to 350-km orbit where it will be used as a platform for experiments. While the experiments could have been left in the same orbit as XPoSat, the Indian space agency brought it down to reduce its life in orbit. With any left-over fuel being disposed of, the platform can be dropped back into the atmosphere after completing its mission life of around a month.

    “We could have done the POEM experiment in the same orbit, but 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 lesser so that we do not create debris,” Somanath said.

    This is the third time that the ISRO has used the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) platform to demonstrate technologies in space. One of the technologies on-board fuel cell power system designed by ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, which Somanath said was a precursor to future power systems for space stations. India plans to set up a space station by 2035.

    One of the experiments of the POEM is the Women Engineered Satellite (WESAT), developed by LBS Institute of Technology for Women to study the comparison between solar irradiance and UV index. Other experiments include a radiation shielding experiment, an amateur radio, three propulsion systems by space start-ups, an inter-planetary durst count experiment by Physical Research Laboratory, and a silicon-based high energy cell again by VSSC.

    “The POEM-3 is being scripted …” the ISRO said.

    XPoSat will become India’s third space-based observatory after the recently launched solar mission Aditya-L1 and AstroSat launched in 2015.

    Studying polarisation of astronomical X-rays can provide insights into the processes that resulted in its emissions. It is a method of studying astronomical phenomenon, in addition to imaging them, studying the fluctuations in light from a source, and the energy radiated by the celestial bodies.

    © The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

    Anonna Dutt is a Principal Correspondent who writes primarily on health at the Indian Express. She reports on myriad topics ranging from the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension to the problems with pervasive infectious conditions. She reported on the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic and closely followed the vaccination programme.

    Her stories have resulted in the city government investing in high-end tests for the poor and acknowledging errors in their official reports.

    Dutt also takes a keen interest in the country’s space programme and has written on key missions like Chandrayaan 2 and 3, Aditya L1, and Gaganyaan.

    She was among the first batch of eleven media fellows with RBM Partnership to End Malaria. She was also selected to participate in the short-term programme on early childhood reporting at Columbia University’s Dart Centre. Dutt has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune and a PG Diploma from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. She started her reporting career with the Hindustan Times.

    When not at work, she tries to appease the Duolingo owl with her French skills and sometimes takes to the dance floor. … Read More

    First uploaded on: 01-01-2024 at 13:38 IST

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