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Fact Sheet

 Fast Facts


Launch date: 17-Oct-2002 04:41 UT
Mission end: 31 December 2022
Launch vehicle: Proton
Launch mass: 4000 kg
Mission phase: Operational
Orbit: Elliptical 72 hour
  • Spectral measurements of gamma-ray sources
  • Detection of gamma-ray bursts, including the closest and faintest on record (GRB 031203)
  • Mapping the galactic plane in gamma-rays
  • Resolving diffuse gamma-ray emission from galactic centre
  • Providing supporting evidence for torii in AGN
  • Finding new class of highly absorbed objects

ESA's INTEGRAL spacecraft is detecting some of the most energetic radiation that comes from space. It is the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory ever launched. INTEGRAL is an ESA mission in cooperation with Russia and the United States.

Mission Objectives

INTEGRAL is providing new insight into the most violent and exotic objects of the Universe, such as black holes, neutron stars, active galactic nuclei and supernovae. INTEGRAL is also helping us to understand processes such as the formation of new chemical elements and mysterious gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic phenomena in the Universe. This is possible thanks to INTEGRAL's combination of fine spectroscopy and imaging of gamma-ray emissions in the energy range of 15 keV to 10 MeV. INTEGRAL also has an optical camera and X-ray detector, energy range 3 to 35 keV, for simultaneous observations across the EM spectrum.

Mission Name

INTEGRAL is an abbreviation for INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory.


Prime contractor Alenia Spazio, Turin, Italy
Launch date 17 October 2002
Launcher Russian Proton rocket
Launch mass 4 tonnes
Dimensions Height 5 metres
Diameter 3.7 metres
Solar panels 16 metres across


Instrument Topic Principal investigator institutes
SPI Spectrometer with cooled Ge detectors, coded mask and active shield J.-P. Roques, CESR Toulouse, France and R. Diehl, MPE Garching, Germany
IBIS Imager with two detector layers (CdTe array, 16 000 pixels and Csl array, 4000 pixels) and coded mask P. Ubertini, IAS Rome Italy; F. Lebrun, CE-Saclay, France; G. DiCocco, ITESRE Bologna, Italy
JEM-X X-ray monitor with microstrip proportional counter and coded mask S. Brandt, DSRI, Copenhagen, Denmark
OMC Optical monitor with CCD and lens optics M. Mas-Hesse, LAEFF-INTA, Madrid, Spain


Highly eccentric 72-hour orbit around the Earth:

  • Perigee: 9000 km
  • Apogee: 153 000 km
  • Inclination: 51.6°

The spacecraft spends most of its time above an altitude of 40 000 kilometres outside Earth's radiation belts thereby reducing background radiation effects.

Operations Centre

Institute Location
Mission Operations Centre (MOC) ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany
INTEGRAL Science Operations Centre (ISOC) ESAC, Madrid, Spain
INTEGRAL Science Data Centre (ISDC) Geneva, Switzerland
Ground stations
Kiruna Sweden


Last Update: 3 November 2020
18-Apr-2024 04:58 UT

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