ISRO's Historic Launch: India's First X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite Set for January 1, 2024

In a pioneering move, three Indian space technology startups – Dhruva Space, Bellatrix Aerospace, and TM2Space – are set to make history as they launch their cutting-edge payloads on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - C58 XPoSat Mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on January 1, 2024. The payloads will be integrated into the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM-3), with the launch scheduled at 9:10 am from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

This mission marks a significant milestone for ISRO as it embarks on its first X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite mission. Over its anticipated five-year lifespan, the XPoSat mission aims to study the orientation of vibrations in light waves, providing crucial insights into the radiation mechanisms and geometry of celestial sources.

Dhruva Space, headquartered in Hyderabad, is set to showcase its technological prowess through LEAPTD (Launching Expeditions for Aspiring Technologies Technology Demonstrator), which will demonstrate microsatellite subsystems, as reported by Moneycontrol.

Bellatrix Aerospace, based in Bengaluru, will contribute to the mission with two key payloads. The first is the Rudra 0.3 HPGP green monopropellant thruster, and the second is ARKA 200, another variant of a thruster. These satellite propulsion systems, commonly referred to as thrusters, play a vital role in maintaining satellites in orbit throughout their operational lifespan, typically spanning 10 to 15 years. It's noteworthy that Bellatrix Aerospace and Dhruva Space collaborated in April 2023, utilizing space in the POEM module of PSLV-C55 to launch their respective payloads.

On the other hand, TM2Space, also known as TakeMe2Space, based in Bengaluru, will contribute to the mission by deploying the Radiation Shielding Experiments Module. This module aims to assess the effectiveness of tantalum coating, with TM2Space asserting that this radiation shielding coating can enhance the longevity of CubeSats, a category of nanosatellites.

In a broader context, Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh revealed earlier this month that Indian space startups have attracted over ₹1,000 crores worth of private investment since April 2023. He emphasized the robust growth potential of India's space economy, projecting a manifold increase by 2040. Referring to a recent ADL (Arthur D Little) Report, the minister highlighted India's potential to reach a 100 billion USD space economy by 2040.

Singh underscored ISRO's global contributions, citing the successful launch of over 430 foreign satellites. These launches generated substantial revenue, with earnings exceeding 290 million euros from European satellites and over 170 million USD from American satellite launches. As India continues to make strides in space technology, the upcoming XPoSat Mission serves as a testament to the country's growing prowess in the global space arena.