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All of the science data received by the XRT and WFC, as well as housekeeping and attitude data, are stored onboard on magnetic tape. Two tape recorders with a capacity of 700 Megabit each are available for this purpose; one tape recorder is redundant.
The spacecraft operations are controlled from the GSOC ground station in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. There are 5 or 6 ground contacts every day. These contacts occur in groups; 5 or 6 orbits with ground contacts are followed by 9 or 10 orbits (about 16 hours) without any ground station contact. During a contact period all the necessary telecommands for the ROSAT operations for the coming contact-free time must be loaded. At any given time about 30 pointing positions can be stored by the system. A large number of short duration observations (e.g., raster scans) lasting shorter than 15 minutes per pointing can therefore not be scheduled.