Cambridge X-Ray Astronomy Group
Upcoming X-ray Missions

Much of the information given here has been taken from the respective websites for the missions.

ASTRO E2 "Suzaku"

Astro E-2 Website
Suzaku Website

This is the fifth Japanese X-ray satellite and is the follow up to the ASCA satellite which flew in the 1990's. ASTRO E was launched in 2000, but failed to make the necessary orbit, and this is its replacement. It was successfully launched on July 10th 2005 from Uchinoura Space Center. It has been optimised for spectral resolution and uses some novel detectors, which unfortunately give it a limited lifetime. It plans to investigate:

UPDATE: Unfortunately one month after launch (08-August-2005) all the Helium cryogen for the X-ray Spectrometer was lost into space, rendering the instrument permanently inoperable. This came as a great blow to the Mission team and scientists around the world as the high spectral resolution of Suzaku was one of the main advantages of Suzaku over XMM and Chandra. The satellite's other two detectors (an X-ray Imaging Spectrometer and a Hard-X-ray Detector) are still operational.

Constellation X

Constellation X Website

This is a NASA mission which is the planned follow up to CHANDRA. It is a new design for an X-ray telescope as the mission will consist of 4 satellites working in unison, much like the radio dish arrays which are used on Earth. This means that the power of a much larger telescope (which could only be assembled in orbit) can be obtained. It also makes the mission more robust as it can continue even if one satellite fails. It will investigate:


XEUS Website

The X-ray Evolving Universe Spectrometer is an ESA/JAXA follow-up mission to XMM-NEWTON. XEUS will be around 200 times more sensitive than XMM-Newton. The planned science targets include:

There are current discussions between ESA, JAXA and NASA to combine XEUS and ConX into one mission - watch this space.



This is India's first multi-wavelength astronomy Satellite, which will carry X-ray instruments observing over a broad wavelength range. It is scheduled for launch in 2007. The objectives are

(List courtesy ASTROSAT website)

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