Suzaku (satellite)

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Suzaku (ASTRO-EII)
A picture of a fully-integrated Astro-E2 before vibration tests at ISAS/JAXA.
Mission type Astronomy
Operator JAXA / NASA
COSPAR ID 2005-025A
SATCAT № 28773
Mission duration Planned: 2 years
Actual: 10 years, 1 month, 23 days
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Toshiba1
Launch mass 1,706 kilograms (3,761 lb)2
Start of mission
Launch date 2005-07-10, 03:30:00 UTC
Rocket M-V-6
Launch site Uchinoura Space Center
Uchinoura, Kagoshima, Japan
End of mission
Decay date no earlier than 20203
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 550 kilometres (340 mi)
Apogee 550 kilometres (340 mi)
Inclination 31 degrees
Period 96 minute
Main telescope
Wavelengths X-ray
M-V with ASTRO-E veering off course.jpeg
The M-V rocket carrying ASTRO-E veering off course after launch on 10 February 2000.
General information
Organization Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)
Launch date 2000-02-10, 01:30:00 UTC
Launch site Kagoshima Space Center
Uchinoura, Kagoshima, Japan
Launch vehicle M-V-4

Suzaku (formerly ASTRO-EII) was an X-ray astronomy satellite developed jointly by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science at JAXA 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.4

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, there are plans to integrate another XRS into the NeXT X-ray observation satellite, planned for launch in 2015 or 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.5 Mission operators decided to complete the mission imminently, as Suzaku had exceeded its design lifespan by 8 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.36

Spacecraft instruments

Suzaku is carrying 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.

  • X-ray Telescope (XRT)
  • X-ray Spectrometer (XRS)
  • X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS)
  • Hard X-ray Detector (HXD)
    • Uses Gadolinium Silicate crystal (GSO), Gd2SiO5(Ce)7
    • Uses Bismuth Germanate crystal (BGO), Bi4Ge3O127


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.8


Suzaku discovered "fossil" light from a supernova remnant.9


  1. ^ "Encyclopedia Astronautica - Toshiba". Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Kazuhisa Mitsuda; et al. (25 January 2007). "The X-Ray Observatory Suzaku". Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan 59 (SP1): S1–S7. arXiv:astro-ph/0608100. Bibcode:2007PASJ...59....1T. doi:10.1093/pasj/59.1.1. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Stephen Clark (4 September 2015). "Japanese X-ray observatory completes decade-long mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  4. ^ すざく(朱雀、Suzaku) 命名の理由, JAXA
  5. ^ "X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Suzaku” Completes Scientific Mission". National Research and Development Agency (JAXA). 26 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Suzaku Mission Declared Complete". Goddard Space Flight Center. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Tadayuki Takahashi; et al. (25 January 2007). "Hard X-ray Detector (HXD) on Board Suzaku". Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan 59 (SP1): S23–S33. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Kevin Boyce (2005). "ASTRO-E Launch". NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Suzaku Finds "Fossil" Fireballs from Supernovae 12.30.09

Further reading

External links

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