Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA To Support European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror Telescope Mission

Date:
December 14, 1999
Source:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
The European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror (XMM) spacecraft, launched Dec. 10 from French Guyana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, has already sent back pictures of itself in space. NASA's involvement in the mission includes provision of critical components for two of the spacecraft's three science instruments and participation in the science-observing program. Scientists expect XMM will explain a number of cosmic mysteries, ranging from black holes to the origin of the universe.

Related Articles


NEWS RELEASE -- ISSUED DEC. 10, 1999

American scientists are anxiously awaiting the launch of the European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror (XMM) spacecraft, set to lift off Dec. 10 from French Guyana on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

The XMM spacecraft, an X-ray satellite designed to provide high quality X-ray spectra of X-ray sources from black holes to very hot objects created when the Universe was very young, is a European Space Agency project with contributions from NASA. NASA's involvement in the mission includes provision of critical components for two of the spacecraft's three science instruments and participation in the science-observing program. Based upon the initial competition for observing time, U.S. scientists will receive about one fifth of the observing time on the spacecraft during its first two years in orbit.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, Md.) provided technical oversight of the U.S. provided hardware that is flying aboard the spacecraft. Goddard also will oversee the U.S. guest observer program wherein selected scientists are awarded observing time on the new observatory to gather science data. Goddard will provide support to U.S. guest scientists in the form of data archives, technical guidance and software support.

"Goddard will be providing support for U.S. scientists using this world class observatory and we are extremely optimistic that this will result in first class science," said Goddard scientist Dr. Richard Mushotzky who is part of the XMM science team.

U.S. hardware co-investigator, Dr. France Cordova from the University of California at Santa Barbara, contributed to the construction of two of the European instruments. Cordova and co-workers provided the data processing unit, the digital electronics modules, software and science support for the Optical Monitor (OM) instrument. Another U.S. co-investigator, Dr. Steve Kahn from Columbia University in New York City, provided two reflection grating assemblies for the Reflection Grating Spectrometer, data analysis software and science support.

"Both of these instruments are state-of-the-art and the Reflection Grating Spectrometer in particular has advanced new technology," said Mushotzky.

The third instrument comprising the science payload, the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC), has silicon chips that can obtain medium spectral resolution x-ray spectra from sources much fainter than ever before. The RGS will analyze the spectra in more detail and with greater resolution. The Optical Monitor will observe the same part of the sky as the x-ray telescopes but in the ultraviolet and optical wavelengths. This will give astronomers complementary data on the X-ray sources observed with the EPIC and RGS instruments.

The spacecraft has four telescopes. Three of them are X-ray telescopes with the combined surface area of a tennis field, 120 square meters. However, due to the fact that the x-rays are focussed via reflection at very shallow angles, the effective collecting area for x-rays is 100 times less. In addition to the large collecting area afforded by XMM, the spacecraft will operate in an orbit that will allow it to take long and uninterrupted observations. The fourth telescope is a 30-centimeter optical telescope, which, by virtue of its operation above the atmosphere, is much more sensitive than a similar telescope on the ground.

The name of XMM stems from its multiple mirrors. XMM, with the largest x-ray collecting area flown to date, will allow astronomers to gather and analyze more X-ray sources quicker than with previous space observatories. Scientists expect XMM will explain a number of cosmic mysteries, ranging from black holes to the origin of the universe. XMM will investigate supernova remnants, black holes, magnetically active flare stars and more.

XMM, a world-class observatory, is the second cornerstone mission of ESA's Horizon 2000 program. Its large effective area and soft x-ray spectroscopic capabilities very nicely complement the high angular-resolution and higher energy x-ray spectroscopic capabilities of NASA's recently launched Great Observatory for x-ray astronomy, the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The minimum mission life of the spacecraft is two years but it is expected to last much longer.

Related Web Site:

European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror (XMM) -- http://xmmlaunch.esa.int/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA To Support European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror Telescope Mission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214075350.htm>.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. (1999, December 14). NASA To Support European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror Telescope Mission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214075350.htm
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA To Support European Space Agency's X-Ray Multi Mirror Telescope Mission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214075350.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins