ISRO’s zero orbital debris milestone.

Syllabus: GS- III, Subject: Science & Technology, Topic: Space Technology, Issue: Recent space missions

Context: ISRO has said its PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission has practically left zero debris in earth’s orbit

PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM3):

  • ISRO’s PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission successfully minimized space debris by transforming the last stage of the rocket into the POEM-3.
  • The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) is an innovative initiative by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to utilize the spent fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) as a low-cost orbital platform for scientific experiments.


  • A sustainable approach to space missions: Repurposing the spent rocket stage into a functional platform for scientific experiments.
  • Addresses the growing concern of space debris, which poses risks to satellites and space operations.
  • With the exponential increase in satellite launches, efforts to mitigate space debris are crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainability of space activities.


  • ISRO’s innovation highlights the importance of responsible space exploration and management in the face of rising orbital congestion.
+1 advantage for mains (Terminology in news):

Space debris:

·                 Space debris poses significant risks to satellites and space operations due to its sheer volume and high speeds.

·                 Incidents like the recent Florida house damage highlighting its dangers.

Steps to address concern of space debris

·                 Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines 2002 endorsed by the U.N., focuses on limiting accidental collisions, break-ups, and intentional destruction in orbit.

·                 NASA’s Orbital Debris Program to reduce orbital debris and track existing debris,

·                 U.S. Space Force monitors space debris and collisions in LEO.

·                 The European Space Agency (ESA) aims for zero space debris by 2030 and advocates for other agencies to adopt similar initiatives.

·                 India’s ISRO focuses on space situational awareness and mitigation measures like the POEM missions.

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