XMM is progressing fast toward launch in December '99 on Ariane 5
19 August 1999The European Space Agencys XMM X-ray space telescope will be launched in early December by Arianespace - the European commercial launch services company. XMM is truly tailored to the new Ariane 5's heavy-lift launch capabilities.
The shipment of XMM ground support equipment has been loaded on MS Toucan motorship which is now en route to Kourou. The XMM spacecraft is currently undergoing its last verifications at ESA's technical centre at Noordwijk in the Netherlands (ESTEC) before the installation in its very large climatised container. The loaded container will then be transported on a barge to the Rotterdam harbour on 8 September.
In the meantime in ESA's Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, flight operators are training to operate XMM.