Astro-E2 Lanches!

Posted by barb on Jul 10, 2005 in Science Musings |

Astro-E2 successfully launched last night! This is a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite, and on-board is a NASA instrument, XRS. When I first came to Goddard 7 years ago, I was a grad student working with the original XRS team. When Astro-E failed to achieve orbit, Astro-E2 was born. The Japanese and instrument collaborators rallied for funding and support for a new satllite.

XRS is the first microcalorimeter X-ray spectrometer to be flown on a space mission, and represents a giant leap forward in spectral sensitivity. It will be exciting to see the results from XRS in the coming months and years.

Upon the success of launch, Astro-E2 has been renamed Suzaku. Suzaku represents the red sparrow, is the southern point of the compass, and is
symbolic of renewal. What a great name!

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