ISRO’s First Mission of 2024
ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization, is all set to kick off the year 2024 with its first mission, XPoSat. This mission marks a significant milestone for India, as it is the country’s first dedicated polarimetry mission to study the dynamics of bright astronomical X-ray sources in extreme conditions.
The launch of XPoSat is scheduled for January 1 and will be carried out using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), a reliable and versatile workhorse of ISRO’s launch vehicle fleet.
XPoSat: Exploring Bright Astronomical X-ray Sources
#WATCH | The launch of PSLV-C58/EXPOSAT Mission is scheduled at 09:10 hrs IST on Monday, 1st January 2024. The launch is planned from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota
(Source -ISRO) pic.twitter.com/tWx3tCztRg
— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2023
All about XPoSat mission
The XPOSAT satellite will be launched into an eastward low-inclination orbit by ISRO’s PSLV-C58 mission. The space agency stated that the PS4 stage will be restarted twice following the injection of XPOSAT to reduce the orbit into a 350 km circular orbit and maintain a 3-axis stabilized mode for Orbital Platform (OP) experiments.
“10 identified payloads supplied by ISRO and IN-SPACe will be met through the execution of the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) experiment,” the ISRO stated.
Two scientific payloads will be carried by the XPoSat spacecraft in a low-Earth orbit.
“In the medium X-ray energy range of 8–30 keV photons of astronomical origin, the primary payload, POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays), will measure the polarimetry parameters (degree and angle of polarization). The ISRO stated that spectroscopic data in the energy range of 0.8–15 keV will be provided by the XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) payload.
XPoSat, an acronym for X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, is a spacecraft intended to investigate the characteristics and actions of X-ray sources throughout the cosmos. X-ray astronomy plays a crucial role in understanding the high-energy processes occurring in celestial objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and active galactic nuclei.
What sets XPoSat apart is its focus on polarimetry, which is the measurement and study of the polarization of X-rays. Polarization provides valuable insights into the physical processes happening in X-ray sources and helps scientists unravel the mysteries of these extreme environments.
By studying the polarimetric properties of X-ray sources, XPoSat aims to address a wide range of scientific questions. It will investigate the nature of the X-ray emission mechanism, the geometry of the emitting regions, and the properties of the surrounding magnetic fields.
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is a reliable and versatile launch vehicle developed by ISRO. It has a successful track record of launching a variety of satellites into different orbits, including Earth observation, communication, and scientific satellites.
The PSLV has been the workhorse of ISRO’s launch vehicle fleet and has played a crucial role in India’s space exploration journey. It can launch satellites weighing up to 1,750 kilograms into a polar, sun-synchronous orbit.
For the XPoSat mission, the PSLV will be used to place the satellite into its intended orbit. The PSLV’s proven performance and flexibility make it an ideal choice for this mission, ensuring a smooth and successful launch.
Importance of XPoSat Mission
The XPoSat mission holds great significance for India’s space research and exploration efforts. It represents a significant step forward in the fields of X-ray astronomy and polarimetry.
Studying bright astronomical X-ray sources in extreme conditions will provide valuable insights into the fundamental physics of the universe. It will enhance our understanding of the processes occurring in high-energy environments and contribute to advancements in astrophysics.
Additionally, the XPoSat mission showcases India’s growing capabilities in space science and technology. It demonstrates ISRO’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of scientific exploration and expanding the frontiers of knowledge.
The launch of XPoSat on January 1, 2024, marks a significant moment for ISRO and India’s space exploration journey. This dedicated polarimetry mission will study the dynamics of bright astronomical X-ray sources, providing valuable insights into the extreme conditions of the universe.
With the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, ISRO aims to successfully place XPoSat in its intended orbit, paving the way for groundbreaking discoveries in X-ray astronomy and polarimetry.
The XPoSat mission not only contributes to the scientific community but also showcases India’s prowess in space research and technology. It is another step forward in ISRO’s mission to explore the mysteries of the universe and inspire future generations of scientists and researchers.