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PSLV C58 Mission UPSC NOTE

 

  • The PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission was a major success for the ISRO.

  • C58 Mission launched on January 1, 2024. 

Primary Payload:

  • XPoSat (X-ray Polarimeter Satellite): The first dedicated scientific satellite from ISRO for studying X-ray polarization in celestial objects

Scientific Objectives:

  • Measure the polarization of X-rays in the energy band 8-30 keV from around 50 potential cosmic sources.

  • Conduct long-term spectral and temporal studies of cosmic X-ray sources in the energy band 0.8-15 keV.

  • Carry out simultaneous polarization and spectroscopic measurements with its two payloads, POLIX and XSPECT.

Additional Payloads:

  • 10 co-passenger satellites: Carried for various academic institutions and private companies in India and abroad.

Mission Highlights:

  • Successful launch: The PSLV-C58 rocket lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9:10 AM IST and placed XPoSat in a desired orbit.

  • Orbital maneuvers: The PS4 stage of the rocket was re-started twice to reduce the orbit to a 350

km circular orbit for optimal operation of XPoSat and the Orbital Platform (OP) experiments.

  • POEM-3 experiments10 experiments from ISRO and IN-SPACe were conducted on the OP platform, testing new technologies and gathering valuable data.

Significance:

  • The PSLV-C58 mission marks a significant step forward in India's space research program.

  • XPoSat will provide valuable data for understanding the nature and behavior of cosmic X-ray sources, contributing to our knowledge of the universe.

  • The successful launch and deployment of multiple satellites demonstrate ISRO's growing capabilities in space technology.

Fourth stage of the rocket transforming into a rudimentary satellite and orbital testbed with various payloads.

  • The science-technology skew is a reminder that ISRO among the world’s spacefaring organisations has unique needs and priorities.

  • This is exemplified by the second part of the C58 mission

  • After launching XPoSat in a 650-km circular orbit around the earth, the fourth stage of the rocket lowered itself into a 350-km-high orbit.

  • Unfurled solar panels, becoming a rudimentary satellite and orbital testbed for the 10 payloads it carried. 

  • These are a radio payload by the K.J. Somaiya Institute of Technology and a device to measure ultraviolet radiation from L.B.S. Institute of Technology for Women.

  • A ‘green’ cubesat propulsion unit, a ‘green’ monopropellant thruster

  • A tantalum-based radiation shield, 

  • A heater-less hollow cathode, 

  • A nanosatellite platform, all from private entities.

  • An interplanetary dust counter, a fuel-cell power system, and a high-energy cell from ISRO centres

  • This is only the third time ISRO has operated the PSLV fourth stage in this way. 

  • The C58 mission represents a union of the aspirations of professional scientists, aspiring students of science, and India’s private spaceflight sector. 

  • This again is a vignette of the demands of ISRO itself as it navigates an era in which a permanent lunar station seems inevitable, drawing as much on technological capabilities as — based on scientific missions — humankind’s knowledge of the universe.

Balanced ratio of scientific to technological missions of ISRO

  • Two missions the ISRO has launched in the five months since its success with Chandrayaan-3 have both been scientific in nature.

  • The Aditya L-1 space probe to study the sun and the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) to study polarised X-rays emitted in astrophysical phenomena. 

  • ISRO launched the XPoSat, in a two-part mission, onboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on its C58 flight on January 1

  • The relative timing of these launches may be a coincidence but it is heartening because the ratio of scientific to technological missions ISRO. 

  • Those science-oriented missions have all been exceptional in their own right. 

  • XPoSat is only the second space-based experiment to study X-ray polarisation, and at higher x-ray energies than the other, NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer

  • Its POLIX payload, realised by the Raman Research Institute, will track X-rays in the 8-30 kilo-electron-volt (keV) energy range and observe emissions from around 50 sources in five years.

  • The XSPECT payload, by ISRO’s U.R. Rao Satellite Centre, will study X-rays of energy 0.8-15 keV and changes in continuous X-ray emissions. 

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