ISRO Satellite To Unravel Secrets Of Universe: All About XPoSat Mission

ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, "The Indian Space Research Organisation is creating wealth from waste in space."

ISRO Satellite To Unravel Secrets Of Universe: All About XPoSat Mission

The ISRO informed that the spacecraft will carry two payloads in a low earth orbit.

After the success of Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L-1, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) today.

With this big space move, India will become the second nation in the world to launch an advanced astronomy observatory specifically geared to study black holes and neutron stars.

It must be noted that when the biggest stars run out of fuel and die, they leave behind black holes or neutron stars, by collapsing under their own gravity.

What is XPoSat?

As per the official ISRO site, “XPoSat is India's first dedicated polarimetry mission to study various dynamics of bright astronomical X-ray sources in extreme conditions.”

XPoSat, which will be launched on the trusted rocket the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, is the world's second of its kind after National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE). The US-based space agency launched it in 2021.

XPoSat Payloads

The ISRO informed that the spacecraft will carry two payloads in a low earth orbit. ISRO added that the primary payload POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) will measure the polarimetry parameters in the medium X-ray energy range. By polarimetry parameters, the organisation meant, “degree and angle of polarisation.”

The second payload — XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) will provide spectroscopic information.”

XPoSat Vision

Talking about the vision of this XPoSat mission, an astrophysicist at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Dr Varun Bhalerao said, “This is only the second mission of its sophisticated class after NASA's 2021 mission named Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer or IXPE. The mission will try to decipher the stellar remnants or corpses of dead stars.”

With the help of X-ray photons and their polarisation, XPoSAT will study the radiation near black holes and neutron stars.

Dr Bhalerao added that black holes are objects that have the highest gravitational force in the universe and neutron stars have the highest densities.

Therefore, India's third launch in less than a year will unravel the mysteries of the ultra-extreme environments that one witnesses in space.

ISRO's PSLV-C58 mission is to launch XPoSat into an eastward low-inclination orbit. The Indian space organisation will also send a 'POEM' up into space.

What is POEM?

The fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is the 'PSLV Orbital Experimental Module', or POEM.

The POEM will have 10 experiments, the highlight of which will be a 'Women Engineered Satellite' (WESAT) made by an institute in Thiruvananthapuram.

This will be POEM's third flight that can easily be described as a low-cost, non-human Indian space station.

ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, “The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is creating wealth from waste in space.”

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