The Hitomi satellite during and after launch
This series of illustrations shows the Hitomi satellite during and after launch.
The sequence of illustrations, starting from the left, shows the satellite configuration inside the rocket fairing during launch; the satellite after separation from the rocket; the opening of the solar panels; and the deployment of the extendable boom.
Hitomi (known as ASTRO-H prior to launch) is a high-energy astrophysics space observatory, developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in collaboration with institutions in Japan, the US, Canada, and Europe.
Covering the energy range between 0.3 keV and 600 keV, Hitomi will study the dynamics of hot gas in galaxy clusters, the accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes at the cores of distant galaxies, and the acceleration of cosmic-ray particles up to very high energies.
Hitomi was launched on 17 February 2016 on an H-IIA rocket, which placed it in a circular low-Earth orbit, with an altitude of about 575 km and an inclination of 31°.