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Proceedings Paper

Status of the ESA L1 mission candidate ATHENA
Author(s): N. Rando; D. Martin; D. Lumb; P. Verhoeve; T. Oosterbroek; M. Bavdaz; S. Fransen; M. Linder; R. Peyrou-Lauga; T. Voirin; M. Braghin; S. Mangunsong; M. van Pelt; E. Wille
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Paper Abstract

ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics) was an L class mission candidate within the science programme Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 of the European Space Agency, with a planned launch by 2022. ATHENA was conceived as an ESA-led project, open to the possibility of focused contributions from JAXA and NASA. By allowing astrophysical observations between 100 eV and 10 keV, it would represent the new generation X-ray observatory, following the XMM-Newton, Astro-H and Chandra heritage. The main scientific objectives of ATHENA include the study of large scale structures, the evolution of black holes, strong gravity effects, neutron star structure as well as investigations into dark matter. The ATHENA mission concept would be based on focal length of 12m achieved via a rigid metering tube and a twoaperture, x-ray telescope. Two identical x-ray mirrors would illuminate fixed focal plane instruments: a cryogenic imaging spectrometer (XMS) and a wide field imager (WFI). The S/C is designed to be fully compatible with Ariane 5 ECA. The observatory would operate at SE-L2, with a nominal lifetime of 5 yr. This paper provides a summary of the reformulation activities, completed in December 2011. An overview of the spacecraft design and of the payload is provided, including both telescope and instruments. Following the ESA Science Programme Committee decision on the L1 mission in May 2012, ATHENA was not selected to enter Definition Phase.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 844328 (25 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924820
Show Author Affiliations
N. Rando, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
D. Martin, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
D. Lumb, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
P. Verhoeve, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
T. Oosterbroek, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
M. Bavdaz, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
S. Fransen, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
M. Linder, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
R. Peyrou-Lauga, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
T. Voirin, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
M. Braghin, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
S. Mangunsong, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
M. van Pelt, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
E. Wille, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8443:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Stephen S. Murray; Jan-Willem A. den Herder, Editor(s)

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