From Moon Landings to POEM
You know as well as we do: Our space agency ISRO has made it a habit to ace space work and make India proud.
We know the highlights package like the back of our hand — the Moon landing of 2023, the Sun probe launch later that year, and an early move into the virtually unexplored X-ray polarimetry universe at the start of 2024.
All great work from just the last six months. We aren't even going back to the days of the Moon and Mars orbiters and the unreal launch of 104 satellites in one flight.
But to get a finer appreciation of ISRO's incredible space work, it might be helpful to home in on the details.
For an example, we've taken a close look at ISRO's "POEM" experiment in Swarajya — quite an underrated innovation with wide-ranging benefits for all in the space community.
The PSLV is a four-stage rocket.
The first three stages propel a spacecraft along the planned trajectory towards the desired orbit and separate from the vehicle, one by one, to break up and fall back into the ocean.
The fourth and final stage ends up in space as space junk or debris.
As a responsible space power, ISRO can't afford to create space debris — at least not junk that lasts and endangers other satellites. After all, we aren't the only country using space. More than 70 nations have space agencies. But that's not all. India's private space industry has been primed and raring to go, especially since the space reforms of 2020. Can ISRO help students, scientists, and startups gain easier access to prime orbit space for scientific experiments and technology demonstrations?
Smarty-pants ISRO, thus, came up with the idea of the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module, or POEM. We have a story on it.
Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.
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