ISRO on Monday successfully launched its maiden X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite that would offer several insights into celestial objects like black holes.

ISRO’s ever reliable Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in its C58 mission, placed the primary X-Ray Polarimeter satellite XPoSat into a 650 km Low Earth Orbit as intended after lifting off at the pre-fixed time of 9.10 am from the first launch pad in Sriharikota.

As the 25-hour countdown concluded, the 44.4-metre-tall rocket lifted off majestically with thunderous applause from spectators who had descended here in large numbers at this spaceport situated about 135 km east of Chennai.

The X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) is aimed to investigate the polarisation of intense X-ray sources in space.

According to ISRO, it is the first dedicated scientific satellite from the space agency to carry out research in space-based polarisation measurements of X-ray emission from celestial sources.

The X-Ray polarisation serves as a crucial diagnostic tool for examining the radiation mechanism and geometry of celestial sources.

The primary payload of XPoSat is POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-Rays) which is designed to measure polarimetry parameters by Raman Research Institute and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) built by the U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru. The Mission life is about five years.

ISRO will also launch the state-of-the-art joint venture satellite with NASA — NISAR — in the first quarter of 2024. Built at a cost of $1.5 billion (nearly Rs. 12,500 crore), NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) is targeted for launch onboard India’s GSLV rocket.

Data from NISAR will be highly suitable for studying the land ecosystems, deformation of solid earth, mountain and polar cryosphere, sea ice, and coastal oceans on a regional to global scale.


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