The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to usher in the new year with the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying the nation's maiden X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) on January 1, 2024.
The success of India's space tech startup sector is so much so that as many as three homegrown startups—Dhruva Space, Bellatrix Aerospace, and TM2Space—have teamed up with ISRO for the XPoSat mission. This collaborative effort signifies a pivotal moment in the integration of private enterprises into India's space exploration landscape.
Startups Joining Hands with ISRO For Payloads
According to a media report, the payloads from these innovative startups will find their place in the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM-3) during the scheduled launch from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The scientific or technological instrument carried on board a satellite for the specific purpose is termed as a payload. Payloads vary in their purpose, size, composition, capabilities, etc.
Unlocking Universe's Brilliance
The XPoSat mission is slated to commence at 9:10 am, propelling India into uncharted territories of scientific discovery.This mission is not only India's first dedicated polarimetry mission but also the world's second. Nasa launched Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) in 2021.
Embarking on a mission to explore the cosmos, XPoSat targets the brightest celestial sources, including pulsars, black hole X-ray binaries, and more. Positioned in a low Earth orbit at 500–700 km, the satellite boasts a five-year mission lifespan.
XPoSat's centerpiece, POLIX, scrutinizes the universe's medium X-ray energy (8-30 keV), measuring polarization degree and angle. The complementary XSPECT payload enriches the mission with spectroscopic insights in the 0.8-15 keV energy range.
Dhruva Space's LEAPTD Showcasing Technological Prowess
Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space will showcase its LEAPTD (Launching Expeditions for Aspiring Technologies Technology Demonstrator) during the mission. This demonstration aims to highlight the capabilities of microsatellite subsystems, contributing to the overall technological advancements in the space domain.
Bellatrix Aerospace's Dual Payloads: Thrusters for Sustained Orbital Operations
Bengaluru-based Bellatrix Aerospace plans a dual payload launch, featuring the Rudra 0.3 HPGP green monopropellant thruster and ARKA 200, another thruster variant. These satellite propulsion systems play a crucial role in sustaining satellite operations in orbit for extended periods, typically between 10 and 15 years.
TM2Space's Radiation Shielding Experiments Module
TM2Space, also known as TakeMe2Space, hailing from Bengaluru, aims to contribute to the mission by deploying the Radiation Shielding Experiments Module. This module seeks to evaluate the efficacy of tantalum coating in enhancing the longevity of CubeSats, a category of nanosatellites.
Sky Is The Limit
Since April 2023, these startups have attracted private investments exceeding Rs 1,000 crores, propelling India's space economy to an estimated 8 billion USD. India’s space economy is projected to grow up to USD 100 billion by 2040.
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