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X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Suzaku” Completes Scientific Mission

August 26, 2015 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) decided to complete the scientific mission of the X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Suzaku” (ASTRO-EII) after carefully considering the condition of the satellite.
JAXA launched the Suzaku on July 10, 2005, and has been operating it until recently, exceeding its target observation life of about two years. However, its communication with the ground had been established only intermittently since June 1, 2015, and JAXA had been trying to restore it.
In addition to communication, JAXA has also examined the condition of the Suzaku’s batteries and attitude control, and concluded that it is difficult to resume its scientific observations.
We will perform necessary procedures to complete its operation.

X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Suzaku” (ASTRO-EII)

The Suzaku, launched by the M-V-6 from the Uchinoura Space Center, is Japan’s fifth X-ray astronomy satellite. While it continued its observations by exceeding its target life, JAXA had to exercise wisdom to find the best use of the deteriorating batteries in recent years.
Suzaku’s around 10 years of observations achieved important scientific accomplishments in the field of structure formation in the universe and probing the very close region of a black hole. These achievements include the measurement of X-ray spectra that reached the outer edge of a galaxy cluster for the first time by verifying its superb observation ability with a global-leading resolution that can cover the broad X-ray energy (wavelength) range.