Indian Space Agency : Launch of ISRO XPoSat: On January 1, the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) launched the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), the first-ever polarimetry mission. This is the first mission of its kind in India to explore the dynamics of intense astronomical X-ray sources under harsh environmental circumstances using polarimetry.

The X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite, or XPoSAT, is the 60th rocket in the PSLV rocket series and would provide insights into astronomical objects like black holes.

Ten additional satellites and the main payload, XPoSat, are being transported by the spacecraft to a low Earth orbit. The principal payload, POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays), will measure the polarization angle and degree in the medium X-ray energy range of 8-30 keV photons of astronomical origin. The X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing (XSPECT) payload will provide spectroscopic data in the 0.8–15 keV energy range.

In order to showcase microsatellite components, thrusters or tiny engines that maintain satellites in desired orbits, and radiation shield coating for satellites onboard the PSLV-C58 mission, four Indian space firms will launch their payloads.

The mission’s main points are as follows:

  1. After the United States, India will be the second nation to have an observatory dedicated to studying black holes with the launch of the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, or XPoSAT, at 9.10 am.

2. XPoSAT will assist in the study of radiation from nearby black holes and neutron stars by employing X-ray photons and their polarization.

3. XPoSAT will use X-ray photons and their polarization to examine the radiation from nearby black holes and neutron stars.

4. Long-term spectral and temporal investigations of cosmic X-ray sources will be conducted by it.

Using the POLIX and XSPECT payloads, it will also analyze polarization and spectroscopic data of X-ray emissions from cosmic sources.

5. The primary satellite would be launched into a 650 km Low Earth Orbit by the 44.4-meter-tall PSLV rocket approximately 21 minutes after liftoff.

6. Later, in order to carry out the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) experiment, the scientists would restart the fourth stage of the satellite to lower the spacecraft’s altitude to roughly 350 km.

7. A missionary serves for roughly five years. It is expected that XPoSat will have a significant positive impact on the global astronomy community.

8. Stars ‘die’ and collapse due to their own gravity, forming Black Holes. Neutron stars have the highest density and black holes the strongest gravitational pull in the universe.

9. The NASA IXPE satellite, which was launched in 2021, cost about $188 million, while the XPoSat satellite cost about Rs 250 crore, or about $30 million.


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