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X-ray Multi-Mirror, also called XMM-Newton


Designation 25989 / 99066A
Launch date 10 Dec 1999
Country of origin Europe
Mission Astronomy: X-ray astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 7400/114000 km
Inclination 60°
Period 2 days
Launch vehicle Ariane V119 504

ESA astronomy satellite worth DM 400 million

Largest satellite ever built in Europe. Will focus on black holes and diffuse background.

It has detected more X-ray sources than any previous satellite and is helping solve many cosmic mysteries, from what happens in and around black holes to the formation of galaxies in the early universe.

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor Astrium (was Dornier)
Mass at launch ~ 4000 kg
Mass in orbit  
Dry mass 3234 kg
Dimension 10 m long x 4 m diameter
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime 10 years

XMM carries 3 telescopes of 70 cm diameter (with 58 overlapping mirrors each). It also carries an 0.30 m aperture optical/ultraviolet telescope, the Optical Monitor, which will allow simultaneous measurements of the optical and ultraviolet light from the source being studied with the X-ray telescopes. Pointing accuracy of the telescope array is 0.25 seconds of arc.

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