India rings in the New Year with successful XPoSat launch

India, following the United States, successfully launched its first scientific satellite, XPoSat, to study X-ray polarization.

Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), this satellite aims to conduct research on space-based polarization measurements of X-ray emissions from celestial bodies, including black holes.

XPoSat lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9:10 am IST as the world welcomed 2024.

The satellite, weighing 469kg, is equipped with two payloads – Polix (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) and Xspect (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing).

XPoSat’s mission is to enhance our understanding of the physics of cosmic sources by measuring X-ray polarization, conducting long-term studies of cosmic X-ray sources, and performing polarimetric and spectroscopic measurements of X-ray emissions.

According to ISRO, this mission has the potential to significantly contribute to global scientific knowledge once the satellite is commissioned.

Last August, India has achieved a historic milestone with its lunar mission successfully landing in the southern pole region of the Moon. This accomplishment placed India in an exclusive group of nations, including the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China, that have achieved a soft landing on the Moon.

Photo credit: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)