ISRO’s 60th New PSLV Rocket to Takeoff with XPoSat

PSLV The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to kick off the new year with a historic launch. On January 1, 2024, ISRO will launch its 60th Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket, carrying the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) as the primary payload. The PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission will mark a major milestone for ISRO, as it will be the first dedicated polarimetry mission to study the X-ray emission from various astronomical sources. The launch is scheduled to take place at 9:10 am from the first launchpad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota1.

What is XPoSat?

XPoSat is a 250 kg satellite that will carry a payload called the Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays (POLIX). POLIX is a device that will measure the degree and angle of polarization of the X-rays coming from different celestial objects, such as pulsars, black holes, neutron stars, and supernova remnants. Polarization is a property of electromagnetic waves that describes the orientation of their electric fields. By studying the polarization of X-rays, scientists can gain insights into the physical processes and conditions of the emitting sources, such as their magnetic fields, geometry, and emission mechanisms2.

XPoSat will observe 50 of the brightest X-ray sources in the sky for at least five years. It will operate in the energy range of 5-30 keV and have a time resolution of 10 microseconds. It will also have a large field of view of about 10 degrees, which will enable it to cover multiple sources in a single observation. XPoSat will be placed in a circular orbit of 500-700 km altitude with an inclination of 6 degrees3.

What is PSLV?

PSLV is a four-stage expendable launch vehicle that is capable of launching satellites into various orbits, such as sun-synchronous, polar, and geostationary transfer orbits. It is one of the most reliable and versatile launch vehicles in the world, with a success rate of over 95%. It has been used to launch several important ISRO missions, such as Chandrayaan-1, Mangalyaan, and Aditya-L1. It has also launched satellites for several foreign customers, such as Israel, Singapore, Canada, and the United States4.

The PSLV has a height of 44.4 m and a lift-off mass of 260 tonnes. It consists of two solid propellant stages and two liquid propellant stages. It also has six strap-on boosters that provide additional thrust during the initial phase of the launch. The PSLV-C58 mission will use the PSLV-QL variant, which has four strap-on boosters. The PSLV-C58 will also carry three secondary payloads, namely the Indian Institute of Astrophysics Satellite (IIASat), the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Satellite (IITBSat), and the Indian Institute of Science Satellite (IIScSat)5.

Why is this mission important?

The PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission is important for several reasons. First, it will be the 60th flight of the PSLV, which is a remarkable achievement for ISRO, considering that the first PSLV launch took place 30 years ago, on September 20, 1993. The PSLV has been the backbone of ISRO’s space program, enabling several scientific and technological breakthroughs.

Second, it will be the first dedicated polarimetry mission in the world, after NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), which was launched in 2021. Polarimetry is a new and emerging field of astrophysics, which can reveal new information about the nature and behavior of the X-ray sources. Third, it will be the first mission of ISRO in 2024, which is expected to be a busy year for the space agency, with several other planned launches, such as Chandrayaan-3, Gaganyaan, and NISAR.


ISRO’s 60th PSLV rocket to lift off with XPoSat on January 1 is a significant and exciting mission for the Indian space agency and the global scientific community. It will launch a satellite that will study the polarization of X-rays from various astronomical sources, which can provide new insights into their physical properties and processes. It will also mark a milestone for the PSLV, which has been a reliable and versatile launch vehicle for ISRO and its customers. The mission will showcase ISRO’s capabilities and ambitions in the field of space exploration and research. You can watch the live telecast of the launch on ISRO’s YouTube channel.

What do you think?

Written by 365PodCast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

New Tata Towel: The Reversible Towel Bra That Solves Boob Sweat

Lalit Modi: The Controversial and Charismatic Former IPL Commissioner