Encyclopedia Astronautica
XMM



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XMM
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XMM
Credit: NASA
European x-ray astronomy satellite. One launch, 1999.12.10. ESA's X-ray Multi-Mirror space observatory was the biggest science satellite ever built in Europe. The spacecraft's X-ray optics covered a spectral range of 1-120 nanometers (12keV-0.1keV).

The XMM was a three-axis stabilized spacecraft with a pointing accuracy of 1 arcsec. The satellite consisted of a service module bearing the X-ray Mirror Modules, propulsion and electrical systems, a long telescope tube, and the focal plane assembly carrying the science instruments. The Prime contractor was DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Dornier Satellitensysteme, Friedrichshafen, Germany; subcontractors included 46 companies from 14 European countries and one in the United States. Media Lario, Como, Italy, developed the X-ray Mirror Modules.

XMM was designed to operate for 10 years. The telescope consisted of three barrel-shaped Mirror Modules, each containing 58 "Wolter-type" wafer-thin concentric mirrors, 0.3 m to 0.7 m in diameter and 0.6 m in length. The total collecting area was 4300 cm2 at 1.5 keV, 1800 cm2 at 8 keV. The focal length of the telescope was 7.5 m and resolution was 5 arcsec (full width half-maximum), 14 arcsec (half energy width) at all wavelengths. Each X-ray Mirror Module had a mass of 500 kg.

The main science instruments on board XMM included:

  • The three European Photon Imaging Cameras (EPIC) produced by a consortium made up of 10 Institutes in four nations: the UK, Italy, France and Germany. EPIC Principal Investigator was Prof. Martin Turner of the X-ray Astronomy Group at Leicester University, UK. One of the cameras used a new type of CCD (PN) developed by the Max Planck Institute of extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany.
  • The two Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS). The Principal Investigator was Prof. Bert Brinkman of the High-Energy Astronomy division SRON, Utrecht Netherlands with co-Investigator Steven KAHN from Columbia University, NY. USA
  • The Optical Monitor, co-aligned with the main X-ray telescope, would give the XMM mission a multi-wavelength capacity. The Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) UK supplied this 30-cm aperture Richtey-Chretien telescope (with a 170-600 nanometer spectral range). OM Principal Investigator was Prof. Keith Mason.
In addition, XMM was equipped with a particle detector, the EPIC Radiation Monitor System (ERMS), developed by the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements (CESR) in Toulouse, France. Its role would be to measure the radiation levels in the Earth's radiation belts and from solar flares, radiation that could perturb the sensitive CCD detectors of the main science instruments.

The XMM spacecraft was placed in a 48-hour elliptical orbit around the Earth (7,000 km x 114,000 km at 40 degree inclination). On each orbit, after the satellite passed through the Earth's radiation belts, astronomers had the observatory at their disposal for some 40 hours.

The XMM spacecraft was controlled by the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC, Darmstadt Germany) using ground stations at Perth (Australia) and Kourou (French Guiana). The XMM Science Operations Centre situated at VILSPA in Villafranca, Spain, managed observation requests and received XMM data. The XMM Survey Science Centre (SSC), at Leicester University UK, processed, archived and correlated all XMM observations with existing sky data held elsewhere in the world.

The XMM mission was the second Cornerstone mission of ESA's Long-Term Space Science program. It was proposed by the Agency's Science Program Committee in 1984 and was approved by the ESA Council of Ministers held in Rome in January 1985. After the setting up in January 1993 of the XMM Project team based at the ESTEC Technical Centre in Noordwijk, Netherlands, and selection of the prime contractor in October 1994, the development phase began in March 1996 and actual construction of the spacecraft started in March 1997. Satellite integration and testing was completed in September 1999. The project, under direct ESA management, was achieved within the allocated budget of 689 Million Euro at 1999 economic conditions (covering satellite design and construction, launch by Ariane-5 and science mission operations during the first two years.)

AKA: XMM-Newton; X-ray Multi Mirror.
Gross mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb).
Height: 10.00 m (32.00 ft).
Span: 16.00 m (52.00 ft).
First Launch: 1999.12.10.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane 5 The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 5 French orbital launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...
  • Ariane 5G French orbital launch vehicle. Initial version of the Ariane 5, a bit too large for the main commercial geosynchronous communications satellite payloads. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Yeteyev, Ivan, Operezhaya vremya, Ocherki, Moscow, 1999..
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, An Overview of the XMM Observatory System, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Scientific Instruments On-board XMM - Technical Highlights , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The XMM-Newton Observatory - A Year of Exciting Science , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, XMM: Advancing Science with the High-Throughput X-Ray Spectroscopy Mission, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, XMM's X-Ray Telescopes, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

XMM Chronology


1985 January - .
  • XMM approved by ESA - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: XMM. Summary: The XMM mission was the second Cornerstone mission of ESA's Long-Term Space Science programme. It was proposed by the Agency's Science Programme Committee in 1984 and was approved by the ESA Council of Ministers held in Rome..

1993 January - .
  • XMM Project Team established. - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: XMM.

1994 October - .
  • XMM Prime Contractor selected. - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: XMM.

1996 March - .
  • XMM Development begins - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: XMM.

1997 March - .
  • Construction of XMM spacecraft begins - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: XMM.

1999 September - .
  • XMM integration/testing completed - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: XMM.

1999 December 10 - . 14:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V119 (504).
  • XMM - . Mass: 3,764 kg (8,298 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: XMM. USAF Sat Cat: 25989 . COSPAR: 1999-066A. Apogee: 104,406 km (64,874 mi). Perigee: 16,709 km (10,382 mi). Inclination: 62.5000 deg. Period: 2,872.40 min. Summary: ESA's X-ray Multi-Mirror space observatory was the biggest science satellite ever built in Europe. Complementary in characteristics to NASA's Chandra satellite, the spacecraft were expected to make major new astronomical discoveries..

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