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Mission description

Astro-D is Japan's fourth cosmic X-ray astronomy mission and the second for which the US is providing a substantial part of the scientific payload. Scheduled to fly 5 February 1993, its four large-area telescopes will focus X-rays from a wide energy range onto a pair each of CCDs and imaging Gas Scintillation Proportional Counters (GSPC). Astro-D will be the first X-ray imaging mission operating over the 0.5-12 keV band with high energy resolution (8 and 2 per cent at 5.9 keV for the GSPCs and CCDs, respectively). This combination of capabilities will enable a varied and exciting program of astronomical research to be carried out.

Keith Arnaud