News archive

News archive

Controlling XMM from a distance as though it were in space: that wasone of the main objectives of the System Validation Test (SVT) whichtook place at the end of July. The spacecraft, which was located inESTEC Noordwijk, the Netherlands was actively controlled by the XMM Mission Operations Centre (MOC) at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany.
Published: 10 August 1999
The Shuttle launch of NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory on 23 July heralds a golden age of space astronomy. Because next December the European Space Agency's XMM satellite will follow the US telescope into space. Many of the world's astronomers are directly involved and have observing time on both missions. In six months' time, the scientific community will have not one but two amazing discovery machines to probe the hot spots of the sky producing X-rays, to which one must add the forthcoming Japanese spacecraft, Astro-E.
Published: 23 July 1999
What is bigger than ESA's largest science satellite? Answer: the spacecraft transport container in which XMM will leave for French Guiana in two months' time. On Monday 19 July, after a four-day trip down the Rhine on a barge, this Swiss-made very large container arrived at Katwijk, a few kilometres from ESTEC.
Published: 20 July 1999
How might it feel to stand but a few metres behind a 747 Jumbo jet with its reactors at full thrust for takeoff ? A human being would probably not survive - at the very least his eardrums would be shattered !This is the kind of ordeal that XMM has just experienced. On the 6th July, ESA's X-ray space observatory successfully passed its last major and crucial environmental test before launch. The fully assembled spacecraft standing 10 metres tall, now bearing its solar arrays and telescope sunshield, was submitted to a barrage of sound, simulating the conditions it will encounter during the first 60 seconds after liftoff.
Published: 8 July 1999
The European Space Agency's XMM mission had until very recently been officially set to liftoff on 21 January 2000. Now, by mutual agreement between the ESA project management and Arianespace, the launch of the X-ray astronomy mission by an Ariane-5 has been rescheduled to mid-December this year.
Published: 10 June 1999
The European Space Agency's X-ray astronomy mission XMM is today one step closer to lift-off, with the mating of the two halves of the satellite. This occurred on 26 May at the ESTEC technical centre at Noordwijk in the Netherlands. ESA's second 'cornerstone' mission is now just over six months away from launch.
Published: 26 May 1999
With the XMM mission just over six months from launch, the XMM web page nowpresents regular updates. Starting with the mating of the spacecraft's upper and lower halves, due to take place today, 26 May, this page will offer regularly updated views of XMM in the integration area of the ESTEC test facilities.Last Update 16:55h
Published: 25 May 1999
With the spacecraft's launch on Ariane-5 only just over half a year away, a delegation from the XMM team has just returned from a visit to Kourou. XMM is presently undergoing last verification tests at ESTEC and the next milestone towards launch - the mating of its two halves - will take place on 26 May.
Published: 11 May 1999
The Optical Monitor instrument arrived back at ESTEC today, Tuesday 20April, after two weeks ofhectic work at MSSL (UK) and CSL (B) to repair and restest it following an electronic anomaly observed during thermal vacuum tests.
Published: 20 April 1999
ESA's X-ray space observatory XMM, currently being assembled in view of a launch from Kourou next January, has been fitted with its three X-ray telescopes - the extremely high-precision Mirror Modules, each with its 58 wafer-thin gold-covered mirror shells which will give the mission its unprecedented vision of the X-ray universe.
Published: 1 April 1999
The first system validation test of XMM took place last week between the spacecraft located in ESTEC (The Netherlands) and the control centre in ESOC (Germany). During this week of tests the spacecraft was controlled from ESOC as if it was already in orbit.
Published: 21 March 1999
The first validation tests of the XMM ground segment have started today, 15 March, bringing together the teams at the ESTEC Technical Centre in the Netherlands where ESA's X-ray space observatory is being assembled, and the XMM mission operations staff in Germany. Everyone will be checking the ground system's ability to "speak to and listen to" the spacecraft as if it were already in orbit. XMM is due for launch in January next year.
Published: 14 March 1999
The XMM Upper Module, bearing the Focal Plane Assembly, is currently being tested in the Large Space Simulator (LSS) at ESTEC. Before closing the chamber and starting the pump-down for theThermal-Balance/Thermal Vacuum (TB/TV) tests, some final checks were made on the facility motion system. The TB/TV tests are scheduled to lastten days.
Published: 2 March 1999
On the occasion of an official visit to Leicestershire on 26 February, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Space Research Centre at Leicester University where much of the development work of the XMM EPIC cameras has taken place.
Published: 25 February 1999
The XMM upper module, bearing the focal plane assembly with imaging cameras and spectrometer detectors, was carefully placed in the Large Space Simulator at ESTEC, where it will undergo thermal vacuum tests.
Published: 22 February 1999
XMM passed an important milestone on 9 February, with the arrival at ESTEC of the upper half of the spacecraft, from Dornier, Friedrichshafen, Germany. The journey from southern Germany to the Netherlands, with the Black Forest pass deep in snow, was quite an adventure in itself for the two extra-wide trucks carrying the upper module and the delicate high-tech imaging camera built by European scientists.
Published: 9 February 1999
Elizabeth Zehetbauer started working in the space sector six years ago. At the Austrian Aerospace facility at Berndorf in Lower Austria, she belongs to the department that produces the thermal insulation for spacecraft.
Published: 24 January 1999
The XMM lower module was taken out of the Large Space Simulator (LSS) at ESTEC yesterday, Thursday 21 January, after successful completion of performance tests under vacuum at high and low temperatures.
Published: 21 January 1999
ESA has issued the first 'Announcement of Opportunity' for observations to be performed with the X-ray Multi-mirror satellite (XMM), for the period May 2000 to May 2002. Proposers from all over the world are welcome to make proposals. The closing date is 17 April 1999.
Published: 18 January 1999
The EPIC PN camera has been repaired and re-installed on the Focal Plana assembly at Dornier.Thermal vacuum testing on the lower half of the XMM spacecraft continuesin the test facilities at ESTEC, Noordwijk.
Published: 10 January 1999
4-Dec-2022 22:55 UT

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