Suzaku (formerly ASTRO-EII) was an X-ray astronomy satellite developed jointly by the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science at JAXA and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to probe high energy X-ray sources, such as supernova explosions, black holes and galactic clusters. It was launched on 10 July 2005 aboard the M-V-6 rocket. After its successful launch, the satellite was renamed Suzaku after the mythical Vermilion bird of the South.
A picture of a fully integrated Astro-E2 before vibration tests at ISAS/JAXA.
|Operator||JAXA / NASA|
|Mission duration||Planned: 2 years|
Actual: 10 years, 1 month, 23 days
|Launch mass||1,706 kilograms (3,761 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||2005-07-10, 03:30:00 UTC|
|Launch site||Uchinoura Space Center|
Uchinoura, Kagoshima, Japan
|End of mission|
|Decay date||no earlier than 2020|
|Perigee altitude||550 kilometres (340 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||550 kilometres (340 mi)|
The M-V rocket carrying ASTRO-E veering off course after launch on 10 February 2000.
|Operator||Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||01:30:00, February 10, 2000 (UTC)|
|Launch site||Kagoshima Space Center|
Just weeks after launch, on 29 July 2005 the first of a series of cooling system malfunctions occurred. These ultimately caused the entire reservoir of liquid helium to boil off into space by 8 August 2005. This effectively shut down the X-ray Spectrometer (XRS), which was the spacecraft's primary instrument. The two other instruments, the X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS) and the Hard X-ray Detector (HXD), were unaffected by the malfunction. As a result, another XRS was integrated into the Hitomi X-ray satellite, launched in 2016.
On 26 August 2015, JAXA announced that communications with Suzaku had been intermittent since 1 June, and that the resumption of scientific operations would be difficult to accomplish given the spacecraft's condition. Mission operators decided to complete the mission imminently, as Suzaku had exceeded its design lifespan by eight years at this point. The mission came to an end on 2 September 2015, when JAXA commanded the radio transmitters on Suzaku to switch themselves off.
Suzaku carried high spectroscopic resolution, very wide energy band instruments for detecting signals ranging from soft X-rays up to gamma-rays (0.3–600 keV). High resolution spectroscopy and wide-band are essential factors to physically investigate high energy astronomical phenomena, such as black holes and supernovae. One such feature, the broad iron K line, may be key to more direct imaging of black holes.
Suzaku was a replacement for ASTRO-E, which was lost in a launch failure. The M-V-4 carrier rocket launched on 10 February 2000 at 01:30:00 UTC but experienced a failure 42 seconds later, failing to achieve orbit and crashing with its payload into the ocean.
- "Encyclopedia Astronautica - Toshiba". astronautix.com. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Kazuhisa Mitsuda; et al. (25 January 2007). "The X-Ray Observatory Suzaku". Publ. Astron. Soc. Jpn. 59 (SP1): S1–S7. arXiv:astro-ph/0608100. Bibcode:2007PASJ...59....1T. doi:10.1093/pasj/59.1.1. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Stephen Clark (4 September 2015). "Japanese X-ray observatory completes decade-long mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- すざく（朱雀、Suzaku） 命名の理由, JAXA
- "X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Suzaku" Completes Scientific Mission". National Research and Development Agency (JAXA). 26 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Suzaku Mission Declared Complete". Goddard Space Flight Center. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- Tadayuki Takahashi; et al. (25 January 2007). "Hard X-ray Detector (HXD) on Board Suzaku". Publ. Astron. Soc. Jpn. 59 (SP1): S23–S33. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Kevin Boyce (2005). "ASTRO-E Launch". NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
- Suzaku Finds "Fossil" Fireballs from Supernovae 12.30.09
- Special Issue: First Results from Suzaku. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. Vol. 59, No. SP1. January 30, 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Suzaku" (ASTRO-EII) (JAXA)
- JAXA/ISAS Suzaku (ASTRO-EII) mission overview
- JAXA/ISAS Suzaku Information for Researchers
- JAXA report presentation of failure analysis of XRS (in Japanese)
- NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day: Launch of the Red Bird (12 July 2005)
- NASA ASTRO-EII mission description
- NASA/GSFC Suzaku Learning Center
- NASA/GSFC XRS-2 project page