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ISRO Launches PSLV -C58 XpoSat Mission; 'A Great Start To 2024,' Says PM Modi

With this launch, India is set to become the second country to have an 'observatory' to investigate black hole.

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Video Producer: Jaspreet Singh

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) kicked off the new year with a successful launch of the PSLV-C58 X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, also known as XPoSat on January 1, 2024.

When did the launch take place? The PSLV-C58 rocket, in its 60th mission, lifted off at 9.10 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and deployed XPoSat into an eastward low-inclination orbit.

The 260-tonne rocket, which carries an advanced astronomy observatory is meant to study black holes and neutron star.

With this launch, India is set to become the second country after the United States of America (USA) to have an 'observatory' to investigate black hole.

"On January 1, 2024, yet another successful mission of the PSLV has been accomplished. The PSLV-C58 has placed the primary satellite at the XPoSat in the desired orbit of 650 km with a 6-degree inclination," said ISRO Chairman S Somnath post the launch.

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

"It's a unique mission as X-ray Polarimetry is a unique scientific capability we have developed internally building instruments. We want to create 100 scientists who can understand this aspect and then contribute to the knowledge of black holes to the world," Somnath told news agency ANI.

XPoSat carries two payloads: POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing).

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What does XPoSat seek to do? According to ISRO, the XPoSAT mission seeks to measure the polarisation of X-rays in the energy band 8-30 keV emanating from about 50 potential cosmic sources and to complete long-term spectral and temporal studies of cosmic X-ray sources.

How much did the mission cost? The XPoSat satellite cost around Rs 250 crore (approximately $30 million), NDTV reported.

"From this point, the orbit of the PSLV will be reduced to a lower orbit, where the upper stage of the PSLV which is now described as POEM will carry out experiments with nine of the onboard payloads and that will take some time,"
ISRO Chairman S Somnath

'A Great Start To 2024': PM Modi, Oppn Leaders Congratulate ISRO Scientists 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO scientists post the launch.

In a tweet on 'X' (Formerly Twitter), Modi said, "A great start to 2024 thanks to our scientists! This launch is wonderful news for the space sector and will enhance India's prowess in this field. Best wishes to our scientists at @isro and the entire space fraternity in taking India to unprecedented heights.”

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"Brightening up the cosmos in pursuit of knowledge on the very first day of 2024 you have proven yet again that your might is our pride. Congratulations to our @isro scientists on the historic launch of specialized astronomy observatory satellite XPoSat to study black holes and neutron stars in our galaxy,” said Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

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Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, "we are proud to. know that many women engineers were part of this fabulous team."

"Many congratulations to all our scientists, space engineers, researchers and ground staff for their ingenuity and unwavering commitment... May these triumphant missions, inculcate the requisite scientific temper among our people, as envisioned by our founders," Kharge said.

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