Starting from 1979 with Hakucho (CORSA-B), Japan achieved for nearly 20 years continuous observation with its Hinotori, Tenma, Ginga and Asuka (ASTRO-A to D) x-ray observation satellites. However in the year 2000 the launch of Japan's fifth x-ray observation satellite ASTRO-E failed (as it failed at launch it never received a proper name).
Then on 10 July 2005, JAXA was finally able to launch a new X-ray astronomy mission named Suzaku (ASTRO-E II). This launch was important for JAXA, because in the five years since the launch failure of the original ASTRO-E satellite, Japan was without an x-ray telescope. Three instruments were included in this satellite: an X-ray spectrometer (XRS), an X-ray imaging spectrometer (XIS), and a hard X-ray detector (HXD). However, the XRS was rendered inoperable due to a malfunction which caused the satellite to lose its supply of liquid helium.
The next planned x-ray mission is the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI). It will continuously monitors astronomical X-ray objects over a broad energy band (0.5 to 30 keV). MAXI will be installed on the Japanese external module of the ISS. After this mission JAXA plans to launch ASTRO-H, also known under the name NeXT, in the summer of 2013.See also: ASTRO-H
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Famous quotes containing the word astronomy:
“Awareness of the stars and their light pervades the Koran, which reflects the brightness of the heavenly bodies in many verses. The blossoming of mathematics and astronomy was a natural consequence of this awareness. Understanding the cosmos and the movements of the stars means understanding the marvels created by Allah. There would be no persecuted Galileo in Islam, because Islam, unlike Christianity, did not force people to believe in a fixed heaven.”
—Fatima Mernissi, Moroccan sociologist. Islam and Democracy, ch. 9, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. (Trans. 1992)