Sign of the future – Closer Look at ISRO’s Recent Scientific Missions | 2 January 2024 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • The article highlights two recent ISRO missions, XPoSat and the C58 launch, analyzing their significance for both scientific exploration and technological advancement.


  • GS3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology; Awareness in the fields of Space
  • Prelims


  • Aditya L-1 Mission:
    • The Aditya L-1 space probe, launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is dedicated to the comprehensive study of the Sun.
    • It carries seven distinct payloads, five developed by ISRO and two by Indian academic institutes in collaboration with ISRO.
    • The mission is expected to have a minimum useful life of 5 years and aims to enhance our understanding of the Sun's various aspects, including its outermost layer and the impact of solar activities on the interplanetary medium and Earth.
  • XPoSat Mission:
    • The X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) is another scientific mission launched by ISRO.
    • It is the second space-based experiment to study X-ray polarization, and it will track X-rays in the 8-30 kilo-electron-volt (keV) energy range and observe emissions from around 50 sources in five years.
    • The XPoSat is expected to shed light on intense X-ray sources such as pulsars and black holes.
    • This mission is a significant step in the study of polarized X-rays emitted in astrophysical phenomena.
    • Astrophysical phenomena are the study of celestial objects and the processes occurring in the cosmos, employing the methods and principles of physics and chemistry.

      Some examples:

      • Stellar phenomena: This includes the life cycle of stars, such as their formation, evolution, and death. It also covers various types of stars, such as red giants, white dwarfs, and neutron stars
      • Galactic phenomena: The study of the formation and evolution of galaxies, including their structure, dynamics, and interactions with other galaxies
      • High-energy astrophysical phenomena: This involves the investigation of energetic events in the universe, such as gamma-ray bursts, cosmic rays, and black hole dynamics
      • Cosmological phenomena: This includes the study of the large-scale structure of the universe, the cosmic microwave background, dark energy, and the ultimate fate of the universe.
  • Scientific Missions and ISRO's Priorities:
    • The ISRO's recent scientific missions, including Aditya L-1 and XPoSat, reflect its focus on space science research.
    • These missions are part of ISRO's broader space science program, which encompasses research in areas like astronomy, astrophysics, planetary and earth sciences, and atmospheric sciences.
    • The organization has a history of scientific missions, such as the Mars Orbiter Mission and the Chandrayaan missions, which have contributed to our understanding of the universe.
  • The C58 Mission:
    • The C58 mission, which included the launch of XPoSat, also exemplifies ISRO's unique needs and priorities.
    • After deploying XPoSat in a 650-km circular orbit around the Earth, the fourth stage of the rocket lowered itself into a 350-km-high orbit and unfurled solar panels, becoming a rudimentary satellite and orbital testbed for the 10 payloads it carried.
    • This mission represents a union of the aspirations of professional scientists, aspiring students of science, and India’s private spaceflight sector, highlighting the diverse demands that ISRO navigates as it continues its scientific and technological exploration.

Way Forward:

  • The ISRO's recent scientific missions, including the Aditya L-1 space probe and the XPoSat, demonstrate the organization's commitment to advancing space science research and expanding our knowledge of the universe. These missions, along with the broader space science program, reflect ISRO's unique needs and priorities in the global spacefaring community.

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