News archive

News archive

During the first hours after XMM's acquisition by the Perth groundstation, the spacecraft control teams at ESOC nursed their babythrough its initial in-orbit sequences. Triggered by the onboardtimer, the two wings of the solar array opened faultlessly, thetelescope sunshield equally well. The star trackers were switched onand the spacecraft's reaction wheels were spun up.
Published: 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.
Published: 10 December 1999
The world's most powerful observatory for X-ray astronomy, the European Space Agency's XMM satellite, set off into space from Kourou, French Guiana, at 14:32 UTC on 10 December. The mighty Ariane 5 launcher, making its very first commercial launch, hurled the 3.9-tonne spacecraft into a far-ranging orbit. Within one hour of lift-off the European Space Operations Centre at Darmstadt, Germany, confirmed XMM was under control with electrical power available from the solar arrays.
Published: 10 December 1999
The Ariane-5 lifted off perfectly on time at 14:32 UT. Separation of the XMM satellite took place 29:18 minutes into the flight."I'm very proud today - we have given the world a remarkable image just now", said Roger Bonnet at the post-launch press conference.
Published: 9 December 1999
At a post-launch conference held between Kourou, Paris and ESOCDarmstadt, the Director General Of ESA Antonio Rodota said:"The launch of XMM represents a success for Europe. We are veryproud of our satellite, and of the Ariane-5 launcher. The flight hasfurther demonstrated the potential of the new vehicle and we expectmore successes of this kind.So you understand we really are proud tohave been on this first Ariane-5 commercial launch".
Published: 9 December 1999
Whilst the engineers and technicians are making final preparations for the XMM launch on 10 December, ESA is setting the stage for the public and media launch coverage, both in French Guiana and in Europe.
Published: 7 December 1999
X-ray astronomy is a relatively young branch of astrophysics which today is one of the most competitive and popular. In the few decades since the discovery of X-ray radiation from cosmic X-ray sources, this field has grown at an astonishing rate leading to the identification of numerous exciting new phenomena.
Published: 23 November 1999
The XMM launch campaign has been proceeding smoothly, since the spacecraft arrived in French Guiana on 23 September. A continuous account of the campaign, direct from the XMM team in Kourou, can be found on this website.
Published: 22 November 1999
All lights are green to launch ESA's X-ray Space Observatory on 10 December with a launch window starting at 14:32 GMT.
Published: 11 November 1999
Thursday 14th October, day four of SVT-3. The object of the third and final XMM Systems Verification Test before launch is to command the spacecraft at a distance, as if it were in orbit, and particularly to control the reception of information from its science payload. It is the first time that the six cameras and radiation monitor installed on the spacecraft provide their data to the XMM Science Operations Centre (SOC).
Published: 9 November 1999
In recent weeks ESA has been actively promoting a series of activities addressing the younger generation, in a concerted effort to stimulate their interest in space and involve as many young Europeans as possible in the Agency's activities. To celebrate the launch of ESA's XMM X-ray telescope in December, for instance, two competitions for European schools were announced in September: "Draw me a Telescope" and "What's new, Mr Galileo ?"
Published: 29 October 1999
As scheduled, the Arianespace MN Toucan berthed at Kourou's Pariacabo harbour on the afternoon of 23 September after a ten-day crossing from Europe. A welcoming party was present as the ship lowered its rear access ramp, revealing its full load: the XMM giant container and eight others with various Ariane-4 and Ariane-5 rocket stages.
Published: 27 September 1999
During the voyage by sea to French Guiana the XMM spacecraft in its transport container was watched over by two members of the project team, Jan van Dooren, ESA's XMM Quality Assurance Manager and his colleague from Dornier Amin Zumstein.
Published: 22 September 1999
ESA's X-ray space observatory has left Europe for its French Guiana launch site. XMM, nicknamed the 'Black Beauty' by the team and engineers who have built it, sailed from Rotterdam on Sunday 12 September aboard the Arianespace 'MN Toucan'.
Published: 13 September 1999
In view of the enthusiastic response to the XMM schools competition,with the kind cooperation of Arianespace, the deadline for submission ofdrawings has been extended by one week.To celebrate the December launch of XMM, its new X-ray spaceobservatory, the European Space Agency is challenging young Europeans toreach for the stars! Details can befound on the special competition website : http://sci.esa.int/xmm/competition. Francais- Deutsch- Espanol -Italiano- Svenska
Published: 13 September 1999
After completing all its mechanical and electrical verifications, XMM is ready for shipping to its launch site in French Guiana. On 1 September ESA's giant X-ray observatory was packed in its special transport container and is now ready to leave the ESTEC integration facility in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Published: 2 September 1999
An X-ray observation of the 'Winking Demon', one of the sky's nearest and X-ray brightest stars, has revealed that its huge X-ray explosions take place in structures similar in relative size to those of our own Sun - contrary to what had been previously suggested. The study by J|rgen Schmitt at Hamburg University and Fabio Favata at the ESA-ESTEC Space Science Department has just been published by the magazine 'Nature' (dated 1 September 1999) and in 'Astronomy and Astrophysics' (currently in press).
Published: 1 September 1999
From Spain to Finland, from Great Britain to Austria, 14 countries were represented at ESTEC on the 19th August when the XMM sub-contractors came to see Europe's X-ray space observatory before it is shipped to its Kourou launchsite.
Published: 24 August 1999
The 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.
Published: 19 August 1999
After a successful second System Validation Test between 20 and 30 July - during which all aspects of the XMM spacecraft including its science instruments were controlled in real-time from the XMM Mission Control Centre at ESOC in Darmstadt as if the satellite was already in orbit - XMM has deployed its solar arrays, another important milestone before the spacecraft is packed for shipping to the Kourou launchsite.
Published: 18 August 1999
4-Dec-2022 21:06 UT

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