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ISRO’s ‘POEM’ platform

Gs Paper-3

Syllabus: Awareness in space.



ISRO successfully launched the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module or ‘POEM’

What is POEM?

The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments using the final, and otherwise discarded, stage of ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

PSLV: The PSLV is a four-stage rocket where the first three spent stages fall back into the ocean, and the final stage (PS4) — after launching the satellite into orbit — ends up as space junk.

  • However, in the PSLV-C53 mission, the spent final stage will be utilised as a “stabilised platform” to perform experiments.


Payloads: POEM is carrying six payloads, including two from Indian space start-ups Digantara (for making the map of space radiations, debris, and orbits) and Dhruva Space (for full-stack satellite development, launch, deployment, operation and maintenance services)

Significance: The inclusion of the two laid the ground for more public-private partnerships, to be facilitated by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe).

  • IN-SPACe is a nodal agency appointed by the Department of Space, which can authorize a non-government entity to use ISRO’s infrastructure and resources, including ISRO’s launch facilities.


Has ISRO repurposed and used PS4 rocket junk earlier?

The Indian space agency first demonstrated the capability of using PS4 as an orbital platform in 2019 with the PSLV-C44 mission


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Practice Questions:

Q. Highlight some of the future planned missions of ISRO, along with its usefulness, that will help harness space technology for national development. (15M)


 Q. With reference to India’s satellite launch vehicles, consider the following statements: (UPSC 2018)

  1. PSLVs launch the satellites useful for Earth resources monitoring whereas GSLVs are designed mainly to launch communication satellites.
  2. Satellites launched by PSLV appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth.
  3. GSLV Mk III is a four-staged launch vehicle with the first and third stages using solid rocket motors; and the second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 2

(d) 3 only

Answer: A


Q. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2016)

The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

  1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after the USA
  3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

 Source: Indian Express, Live Mint