An ISRO Rocket Completes a Mission with Zero Debris

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 26 March 2024

ISRO announced that the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has completed a mission with no orbital debris, calling it "another milestone". This was accomplished on March 21 when the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) re-entered Earth's atmosphere, marking its "fiery end".

The space agency declared, "The PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission has practically left zero debris in orbit." On January 1, the PSLV-C58 mission was completed. According to ISRO, the terminal stage of the PSLV was converted into the POEM-3, a three-axis stabilized platform, once the primary task of putting every satellite into the intended orbit was accomplished.

The stage was passivated to eliminate any remaining propellants to reduce the chance of an unintentional break-up and deorbited from 650 km to 350 km, allowing for an early re-entry, according to the statement. Nine distinct experimental payloads were configured aboard POEM-3 in order to conduct scientific investigations and technological demonstrations on the recently created indigenous technologies. Non-Governmental Entities (NGEs) used the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN' SPACe) to deploy six of these payloads.

Within a month, these payloads' mission goals were accomplished. As a result of atmospheric drag and other natural factors, the upper stage's orbital height continued to decrease. According to ISRO, the module (NORAD ID 58695) is predicted to have collided with the North Pacific Ocean (Lat 6.4 N & Long 158.7 W) on March 21, 2024, at 14:04 UTC (19:34 IST).

The POEM provides a very economical platform for conducting short-duration space-borne experiments, and ISRO has opened up new opportunities for academics, entrepreneurs, and NGEs to test their novel payloads, the statement added. Many entrepreneurs, colleges, and NGEs have taken use of this new chance to conduct experiments in space, such as electric thrusters, satellite dispensers, and star-tracking.

According to the space agency, POEM also includes new features like standard interfaces for electric power, telemetry, and telecommand, industrial-grade components in avionics packages like the Mission Management Computer, and new in-orbit navigation algorithms that use rate-gyro, sun sensor, and magnetometer.

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