Imagine the Universe!

Deploy, Deploy, Deploy! ... A Double Feature ...

The first reel of the double feature is a narrated movie of how the solar panels and X-ray telescope of the Japanese ASCA satellite deployed after achieving orbit. It shows how the spacecraft was maneuvered into position for deployment of solar panels and Sun acquisition control. Then, 10 days after lift off, the X-ray telescope was extended which allowed for the beginning of observations.

The Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) is Japan's fourth cosmic X-ray astronomy mission, and the second for which the United States provided part of the scientific payload. The satellite was successfully launched 20 February 1993, and is still in operation today. ASCA carries four large-area X-ray telescopes. At the foci of two of the telescopes is a Gas Imaging Spectrometer (GIS), while a Solid-state Imaging Spectrometer (SIS) is at the foci of the other two.

The second narrated reel of the double feature shows how the solar panels and high-gain antennae deployed on the RXTE satellite after achieving orbit. Put into low-Earth orbit by a Delta launch vehicle, the two 3-panel solar arrays deploy simultaneously. After that, the 2 high-gain antennae then deploy one at a time.

The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) was launched on 30 December 1995 and is operating successfully. Its scientific payload consists of three instruments: the Proportional Counter Array (PCA), the largest device of its type ever flown; the High-Energy X-ray Timing Experiment (HEXTE), consisting of crystal scintillator detectors which extend the satellite energy sensitivity up to 200 keV, and the All Sky Monitor (ASM), which scans most of the sky every 1.5 hours in order to monitor the brightest sources in the sky.

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

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