Feb 29, 2016 - Hitomi completed the critical operation phase successully !
JAXA confirmed the completion of a sequence of important operations of the X-ray Astronomy Satellite Hitomi (ASTRO-H), including
turning the cooling system on,
test operation of the Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS),
extending the Extensible Optical Bench (EOB).
With this confirmation, the critical operation phase of Hitomi was completed. The Hitomi will take about one and half months to
verify the function
of its onboard equipment and instruments in space, then we will conduct calibration observations for
another one and half months. See press release
Feb 24, 2016 - The SXS instrument successfully achieved 50 mK operation. The detector system noise looks as expected and the SXS is ready for test observation.
Feb 21, 2016 - The SXS team successfully performed an aliveness test on the first and second stage ADR's. This included activating the heat switch heaters and applying the
nominal 2 amp to each of the salt pill magnets. This indicates that the ADR system is ready to be operated to 50 mK.
Feb 18, 2016 - The SXS Joule-Thomson cooler has been turned on and the power is being increased incrementally. The cooling of the JT stage is reducing the heat load on the
liquid helium tank, and it is beginning to cool down following the launch activities.
Feb 16, 2016 - The SXS team conducted a final performance check of the SXS detector system at 50 mK yesterday and everything was as expected. The dewar temperatures are
all currently within requirements for the countdown.
Feb 11, 2016 - Today, L-1, the SXS was powered up and cooled to its nominal operating temperature of 50 mK for a final performance check. System noise and energy resolution on the calibration are as expected. Next step is final closeout of the dewar valve configuration for flight.
Feb 8, 2016 - The SXS dewar has been sucessfully topped-off with liquid helium.
Feb 7, 2016 - The SXS has completed a planned 12th and final cool down of the SXS instrument from room temperature prior to launch. The instrument performance was nominal and JAXA is now proceeding with the low temperature top-off of the liquid helium.
Dec 12, 2015 - A comperehensive test of the ASTRO-H observatory was successfully carried out following delivery of the ASTRO-H observatory to JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center.
Dec 11, 2015 - Astro-H launch date has been announced: Friday, Feb 12, 2016, 5:45 through 6:30 pm JST (Friday Feb 12, 2016 3:45-4:30 am EST) See Press Release
Dec 6, 2015 - ASTRO-H spacecraft arrived safely at the launch site, the Tanegashima island, on Dec. 6
Dec 1, 2015 - The ASTRO-H observatory has been shipped to JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center.