'Zero Debris' Re-Entry Of POEM-3 Into Earth's Atmosphere

News Excerpt:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently achieved a milestone when the terminal stage of PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) did not leave any space debris upon re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3):

  • POEM-3 was a part of PSLV-C58 Mission, which was successfully completed on January 1, 2024.
  • PSLV-C58’s primary objective was deploying all satellites into their predetermined orbits. 
  • Following its main objective, the final stage of the PSLV rocket was converted into a stabilized platform, known as POEM-3, by employing a 3-axis stabilization technique. 
    • This transformation signifies a strategic utilization of the rocket’s terminal stage beyond its primary satellite launch mission.
  • A 3-axis stabilization technique in the context of spacecraft and satellites refers to the method of controlling the orientation of the object in space with respect to all three spatial dimensions — pitch, yaw, and roll
    • This ensures the spacecraft maintains a stable position and orientation, allowing it to face the desired direction.
  • This stabilization is crucial for a variety of tasks, including precise pointing of instruments for data collection, communication with Earth, and optimal positioning of solar panels for energy collection.

Payloads of POEM-3:

  • POEM-3 is equipped with payloads and obtains its power from solar panels installed around the PS4 tank, supplemented by a lithium-ion battery.
  • It was equipped with nine distinct experimental payloads, designed to perform technology demonstrations and scientific experiments on newly developed domestic systems. 
  • Six of these payloads were contributed by New Generation Enterprises (NGEs) through the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe)
  • Within a month, these payloads successfully achieved their mission objectives, demonstrating the effectiveness and potential of the collaboration between ISRO, IN-SPACe, and the private sector in advancing space technology and research.

What is new in POEM-3?

  • POEM has introduced several new features to make space experiments more efficient and versatile. 
  • These include simplifying the control electronics into a single streamlined system. 
  • It also introduces advanced navigation techniques that use gyroscopes, sun sensors, and magnetometers to accurately determine its position in space. 
  • Additionally, it employed creative methods to safely get rid of any leftover fuel, reducing any potential disruptions caused by the fuel disposal process. 
  • These advancements make POEM a cutting-edge platform for space research, accessible for a wide range of scientific explorations.

Significance of POEM-3:

  • The POEM initiative, acting as an economical platform for conducting brief experiments in space, has broadened opportunities for academic institutions, startups, and New Generation Enterprises (NGEs) to test their innovative payloads. 
  • Through this approach, ISRO has created new pathways for various sectors to engage in space research and experimentation.
  • This new initiative has been taken advantage of by many startups, universities, and new space companies, allowing them to conduct space experiments. 
  • These experiments have covered a range of innovations like electric propulsion systems, devices for releasing satellites, and technology for tracking stars, making space research more accessible and diverse.


  • The PSLV C-58 was the 60th flight of the Indian Space Research Organisation's Polar Satellite launch Vehicle.
  • XPoSat (X-ray Polarimeter Satellite) of ISRO was launched on PSLV-C58.


  • XPoSat (X-ray Polarimeter Satellite) is the first dedicated scientific satellite from ISRO to carry out research in space-based polarization measurements of X-ray emission from celestial sources. 
  • It carries two payloads namely POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing). 
  • POLIX is realized by Raman Research Institute and XSPECT is by Space Astronomy Group of URSC.


Related News: ISRO’s POEM-3 achieves all payload objectives, set to re-enter Earth - KSG India

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