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XMM takes pictures of itself!

XMM takes pictures of itself!

10 December 1999

The XMM spacecraft, launched on 10 December from Kourou, has sent back pictures of itself in space.The photographs were taken by two micro-cameras placed on the exterior of the spacecraft's focal plane assembly. Provided by Optronic Instruments and Products (OIP) - Delft Sensor Systems, and IMEC, Belgium, the two cameras (10 x 6 x 6cm) each weigh but 430 grams.

The cameras are of two types: the FUGA camera has a logarithmic response, with a high dynamic range, providing a black and white picture. The exposure time of the second IRIS camera with a colour filter, can be modified. The field of view of both cameras is fixed (approx. 400 x 290), giving a view along the telescope tube towards the service platform and the solar arrays.

These pictures were taken just under five hours after liftoff, at 19:25 UT (20:25 CET). XMM was then at an altitude of 55,300km above the Earth's surface. Because of constraints due to the spacecraft's orientation at this time, the cameras could not have a view showing our planet.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
24-May-2024 22:28 UT

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