XMM-Newton Mission Extension Approved
6 December 2005ESA's Science Programme Committee has extended operations of the highly successful astronomical observatory XMM-Newton until 31 March 2010.
As usual, there will be a review of the scientific performance and of the missions status in another two years' time, around autumn 2007.
The X-ray observatory XMM-Newton was launched on 10 December 1999. Thanks to its large effective area and high throughput, it is providing important scientific results which continue to break new ground in many key areas of X-ray astrophysics.
It provides observations of all kinds of astronomical objects starting from comets and planets in our Solar System up to the most distant quasars, which are observed at a time when the Universe was only 7% of its current age (13 700 million years).
With its six instruments (three X-ray cameras, two spectrometers and a UV/Optical monitor), which operate simultaneously, the XMM-Newton observatory provides a state-of-the-art high-throughput facility featuring high spectral resolution and excellent sensitivity to provide high-quality spectra of both point and spatially extended sources