skip to content
XMM-Newton Guest Observer Facility


Watch the launch video from ESA (requires RealPlayer).

XMM-Newton Hoisted Aboard the Launch Vehicle

XMM-Newton hoisted to the Ariane launch vehicle
(Image courtesy of ESA)

XMM-Newton lifted to the top of Ariane 504 in preparation for launch.

XMM-Newton and the Ariane Launcher

Cutaway view of the Ariane launcher
(Image courtesy of ESA)

Artists conception of the XMM-Newton satellite mounted on a cutaway of the Ariane launcher.

XMM-Newton on the Launch Pad

XMM Satellite Launch Pad
(Image courtesy of ESA)

XMM-Newton and Ariane 504 prior to launch.

Ariane 504 Launch

XMM Satellite Ariane Launch

XMM Satellite Ariane Launch XMM Satellite Ariane Launch XMM Satellite Ariane Launch

(Images courtesy of ESA)

Ariane 504 blasts off at 14:32UT 10 Dec 1999 from Kourou, French Guiana.

Fairing Separation From the Ariane Launcher

XMM Satellite Separation
(Image courtesy of ESA)

Artists conception of the launcher fairing separation. Separation of XMM-Newton from the Ariane 504 launch vehicle occured 29:10 minutes into the flight at an altitude of 826 km. The first burn on the on-board Hydrazine boosters lifted perigee to 4 900 km, a second to the nominal 7 000 km of operational orbit and a third burn lowered the apogee to 114 000 km.

On-board Cameras Image XMM-Newton 5 Hours After Launch

XMM Satellite On-board Cameras

XMM Satellite On-board Cameras

(Images courtesy of ESA)

On board Visual Monitering Cameras (VMCs) pointed along the telescope tube towards the service platform reveal that the solar arrays have deployed successfully. At this time XMM-Newton was along its first orbit, 55 300km above the Earth.

XMM-Newton with an Earth backdrop

XMM Satellite w/Earth

(Image courtesy of ESA)

On 2000 February 16 the VMCs caught this image of the observatory during a test pointing away from Earth on orbit 35, at an altitude of 50,000 km.

If you have any questions concerning XMM-Newton send e-mail to