ASTRO-H X-Ray Astronomy Satellite successfully launched

ASTRO-H, the sixth of a series of X-ray observatory satellites developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was launched on Febr. 19th 2016 on board the Japanese H-IIA Launch Vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center (Japan).

ASTRO-H mission objective is the understanding of the structure and evolution of universe, including the explosion of stars, the origins of gigantic black holes in the centers of galaxies, and the nature of dark matter as a main component of our universe. The mission is a major international collaboration led by JAXA with over 70 contributing institutions in Japan, the US, Canada, and Europe. Major international partners include NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center as an important player in instruments development, Stanford University, SRON, Université de Genève, CEA/DSM/IRFU, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and European Space Agency (ESA), who contribute in critical areas of the hardware and software development.

In 2011, CGS was awarded a contract with ESA to manage the detailed procurement activities for ESA hardware contributions to the ASTRO-H mission. In the 2011-2014 timeframe, CGS delivered several flight items including Loop Heat Pipes for the SXS cryostat, High Voltage Power Supplies for SGD, HXI and SXS instruments, high purity platinum and sputtering targets for Hard X-ray Telescope mirror coatings and scintillator crystals for anti-coincidence shields on high energy detectors HXI and SGD.