XPoSat mission: ISRO's next big thing after Chandrayaan-3 mission

ISRO's X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) is all set to hit the spotlight, quickly in the wake of Chandrayaan-3 mission, promising to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Know what this XPoSat mission is all about.

| Updated on: Oct 07 2023, 22:56 IST
ISRO is planning new space missions such as Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan and more in 2023. (Bloomberg)
ISRO is planning new space missions such as Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan and more in 2023. (Bloomberg)

India is gearing up for another groundbreaking space mission following Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L-1 missions. After the successful launch of these two missions, ISRO's confidence in space missions has received a major boosted.

Now, the ISRO's X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) is set to take the spotlight, promising to unlock the mysteries of the universe. XPoSat stands as India's first polarimetry mission and only the world's second of its kind, with NASA's Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) being the predecessor launched in 2021.

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At its core, polarimetry is a scientific technique used to study the movement of light waves. It provides insights into the direction and patterns of vibration exhibited by light waves during their journey through space.

The launch of XPoSat is set to ride into space atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in a few months. Once in orbit, it's expected to serve for at least five years.

XPoSat mission objectives

According to ISRO, the emission mechanism from various astronomical sources such as black holes, neutron stars, active galactic nuclei, and pulsar wind nebulae originate from complex physical processes and they are challenging to understand. The intricate processes involved have been elusive for researchers, and existing space observatories struggle to provide precise data on these emissions. To overcome these challenges, advanced devices and technologies, like XPoSat, have been developed to shed light on these cosmic enigmas.

XPoSat carries two crucial scientific payloads in low Earth orbit. The primary payload, POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays), is designed to measure the polarization parameters (degree and angle) of X-rays emanating from approximately 40 bright astronomical sources.

The second payload, XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing), complements the mission by providing essential information on how celestial objects absorb and emit light. XSPECT will closely observe various sources such as X-ray pulsars, black hole binaries, and low-magnetic field neutron stars, offering valuable spectroscopic insights into their behavior.

With its advanced payloads and cutting-edge technology, the XPoSat mission is poised to contribute significantly to our understanding of the cosmos, marking another milestone in ISRO's space exploration journey.

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First Published Date: 07 Oct, 22:56 IST