Successful Ariane 5 launch
14 December 1999
This afternoon the first commercial Ariane 5 launcher rose, after three
previous Ariane 5 trial launches, from its pad at Kourou rocket base in
French Guyana. The payload successfully put into orbit was ESA's new
scientific satellite, the XMM (X-ray Multi Mirror) space telescope. Saab
Ericsson Space in Gothenburg, Sweden, supplied extensive space equipment
for both the launch vehicle and the satellite.
The XXM is the largest scientific satellite ever built in Europe. It is
part of ESA's "Horizon 2000" series of scientific satellites for detailed
study of the universe. The massive XMM space telescope, actually
consisting of four different telescope units, will measure and record
cosmic X-ray radiation with great accuracy. The 10-meter long satellite,
weighing in at 3.8 tons, has been positioned at a 40-degree angle in an
elliptical orbit with perigeal and apogeal altitudes of 7 000 and 114 000
km, respectively. Observations can be made during 40 hours of each
48-hour orbit and the estimated life span of the telescope is at least two
Saab Ericsson Space has supplied the Ariane 5's onboard computers,
antennas and separation system, and the XXM's antennas.
The opening mechanism of the XMM telescope's cover doors and its thermal
protective blankets have been supplied by Saab Ericsson Space's subsidiary
Saab Ericsson Space is an international supplier of equipment for use in
space. The company develops and manufactures computers, antenna systems,
microwave electronics and guidance and separation systems for launch
vehicles and satellites, and is the world leader in several of its product
The headquarters is located in Gothenburg, a Technical Division is at Saab
in Linköping and there are subsidiaries in Austria and the USA.
Of the company's 650 employees, more than half hold Master's or Doctor's
degrees in technical fields.
Saab Ericsson Space is jointly owned by Saab and Ericsson.
För ytterligare information, kontakta:
Iréne Svensson, Communications Manager, tel. +46 31 735 44 63.
This and other information is also available at our Web site www.space.se.
Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information
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Last updated: 23 January 2015 • 14:43