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ISRO’s Mission: Understanding the Importance of PSLV-C58 Spent Stage for Space Station

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has dropped the launch vehicle’s fourth expended stage after putting the X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite into a 650km orbit with a 6-degree inclination. It will serve as a platform for future onboard experimentation.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today expressed happiness over the successful launch of XPoSat satellite by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

He extended his best wishes to ISRO scientists along with the space fraternity for taking India to heights. 

The Prime Minister posted on X: 

“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.”

“The PS4 stage has been successfully brought down to a 350 km orbit,” ISRO reported in a mission update.

After fulfilling the primary goal of injecting the XPoSat into a 650km, 6 degree orbit, the PS4 stage descended to a 350km, 9.6-degree orbit via two restarts.

The remaining propellant in the PS4 was safely disposed of using the Main engines, setting the stage for future atmospheric re-entry experiments.

ISRO’s PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) allows in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 stage as an orbital platform. Power requirements are met through Flexible Solar Panels and a 50Ah Li-ion battery in a tied configuration. Avionic systems manage Navigation, Guidance, Control, telecommands, and the Orbital Platform Attitude Control System, ensuring precise control for payload testing on the orbital platform, the space agency said.

The experiments to be performed on POEM

1. Bellatrix Aerospace, based in Bengaluru, will test Rudra 0.3 HPGP, a green monopropellant thruster, and ARKA-200, a heater-less hollow cathode for Hall thrusters.

2. InspeCity Space Labs, located in Mumbai and incubated by IIT Bombay, will test the Green Impulse TrAnsmitter (GITA), a green bipropellant CubeSat propulsion unit.

3. TakeMe2Space from Hyderabad will test its Radiation Shielding Experimental Module (RSEM) designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Tantalum coating, enhancing CubeSat lifespan.

4. Thiruvananthapuram-based LBS Institute of Technology for Women contributed the Women Engineered Satellite (WESAT), measuring solar irradiance and UV Index.

5. KJ Somaiya Institute of Technology in Mumbai features BeliefSat-0, an amateur radio satellite, onboard POEM.

6. ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) has two payloads, the Fuel Cell Power System (FCPS) and Silicon-based High Energy Cell, onboard POEM.

7. The Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory has sent the Dust Experiment (DEX) on POEM, designed to measure interplanetary dust count.

One of the experiments intended are, involves testing FCPS. Fuel cells function similarly to batteries, but they do not deplete or require recharging. They generate electricity and heat as long as fuel, such as hydrogen, is provided.

ISRO’s decision to test FCPS in the lower orbit aligns with a broader strategy to validate technologies crucial for the proposed Indian Space Station’s success, reported India Today.

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