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Astro D

Also called Asuka or ASCA (Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics)


Designation 22521 / 93011A
Launch date 20 Feb 1993 at 02:00 UT
Country of origin Japan
Operator ISAS
Mission Scientific: X-ray astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 538/645 km
Inclination 31.1°
Period 96.5 min
Launch vehicle Mu 3S 2
Launch site Kagoshima
Mass at launch 420 kg

First truly telescopic telecope in space and first Japanese X-ray imaging telescope (its previous X-ray satellites have carried x-ray detectors without focussing optics).

End of life

Out of service 15 Jul 2000
Cause The solar panels were not aligned towards the Sun, lost attitude
Decay 2 Mar 2001

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor Nagoya's university and the Goddard Space Flight Center
Mass at launch 420 kg
Mass in orbit  
Dimension 1.2 m diameter x 2.8 m long (4 m deployed)
Solar array  
DC power BOL: 600 W
Design lifetime 2 + 2 years

Is equipped with 4 focal mirrors of 3.5 m and CCD detectors. The sensitiveness should be 100 times greater than HEAO 2. It carries CCD detectors and an imaging proportional counter. The spacecraft is sensitive to the 0.5-12 keV energy range. The Asuka telescope has a 30 arcmin field of view and 2 arcmin spatial resolution.

Telemetry: 2256.22 MHz (playback: 262144 bps, via DSN)

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