ESA Bulletin 134: The Next Decade with XMM-Newton - Its Scientific Impact and Challenges for the Next 10 Years
6 June 2008The May 2008 issue of the ESA Bulletin features an article on "The Next Decade with XMM-Newton - Its Scientific Impact and Challenges for the Next 10 Years".
Launched in December 1999, XMM-Newton has successfully performed routine science operations for the past 8 years. The status of the satellite and instruments is excellent. On-board consumables are sufficient to operate for at least another 10 years. With a mission extension to December 2012 approved by ESA's Science Programme Committee last autumn, the spacecraft is well on its way to surpassing its original ten year design lifetime.
In this issue of the ESA Bulletin, Norbert Schartel and Arvind Parmar take the opportunity to consider the impact of XMM-Newton since its launch. They look at the importance of the spacecraft to the scientific community - measured by the number of scientists requesting observing time, and by the number of publications in the scientific literature.
The far-reaching impact of XMM-Newton is illustrated with reference to some recent scientific highlights. These include:
- observations of a million-degree plasma in the Orion Nebula
- determination of the age of the supernova remnant, RCW 86
- discovery of the first black hole in a globular star cluster
The authors also look ahead to the next decade, and to the prospects offered by complementary investigations with the Herschel and Planck observatories.
Schartel, N., & Parmar, A., "The Next Decade with XMM-Newton - Its Scientific Impact and Challenges for the Next 10 Years", ESA Bulletin 134, May 2008