Indian Science Odyssey 2024: Space with ISRO and beyond – a year of bold exploration

India is gearing up for an extraordinary scientific year in 2024, from ISRO's space missions and cutting-edge satellites to ambitious research stations in Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond.

Plot: India will embark on ambitious scientific endeavors in the coming year, from ISRO wanting to send humans into space to other institutions wanting to go beneath the sea. On a positive note, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) recently launched an X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) on January 1, 2024, with the aim of unraveling the mystery of X-rays and exploring their secrets. the mysterious world of black holes.

But that's not all – on January 6, the mission's Aditya-L1 satellite will be stationed at Lagrange Point-1, providing uninterrupted views of the Sun for five years. Moreover, according to a PTI report, the NISAR satellite, a joint project of NASA and ISRO, is set to be launched to study climate change, making it the most expensive Earth imaging satellite ever produced.

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To summarize last year's achievements, India successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission with a soft landing near the South Pole of the Moon. In the future, two unmanned missions are planned as part of the “Gaganyaan” project, which will enable Indians to fly into space by 2025.

Samudrayan Mission

Marking a milestone in deep-sea research, India's 'Samamyaan Mission' plans to descend to the surface in several phases. The goal of Phase 1 is to reach 500 meters by March, paving the way for Phase 2's ambitious goal of 6,000 meters. The centerpiece of the mission, the Matsya 6000, is a three-man submarine that can operate continuously for 12 to 16 hours. A 24-hour oxygen supply and advanced technological capabilities enable unprecedented access to the ocean's deepest secrets.

In the commercial space, private space companies such as Skyroot Aerospace and Agnikul Cosmos are preparing for their first commercial launches in 2024, which will be a major milestone in India's space exploration.

Commercial space projects

In addition to space exploration, Indian startups are also making breakthroughs: Pixxel plans to launch a constellation of 24 satellites by 2025, and Agnikul Cosmos is preparing for a test flight of its 3D-printed “Agnibaan” rocket.

India's Global Scientific Footprint

The government has also approved participation in major international science projects, including the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the India-US collaborative initiative Fermilab. The National Quantum Mission, which aims to develop quantum technology, has been given the green light and its costs are expected to exceed this $6,000 crore in the next eight years.

Among other interesting developments, India has announced plans to build a new research station “Maitri-II” in Antarctica, which is expected to be operational by 2029. The country is also expanding its presence in the Arctic with a winter expedition to the Himadri Research Station. .

While this scientific endeavor promises a bright future, 2023 has brought some unexpected changes, including Kiren Rijiju's move to earth sciences and the sudden resignation of Science and Technology Minister Srivari Chandrasekhar. The Indian Science Congress, which is usually inaugurated by the Prime Minister, has been suspended following a row over the 109th edition of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).