Compatibility Test with Ground Equipment and System Proto-Flight Test
Recently a satellite integration test of the ASTRO-F satellite was
completed. The satellite is now in storage.
The launch schedule of ASTRO-F has been postponed due to an anomaly
found in the supporting structure of the primary mirror of the telescope
during the low temperature vibration test prior to the satellite
integration test which commenced from April 2003. It was found that the
supporting structure was not strong enough to securely hold the primary
mirror in the vibrant environment expected at liftoff and the position
of the mirror would be prone to shifting.
In the successfully held satellite integration test, equipment and
devices were assembled, their functions carefully checked, and an
operational rehearsal carried out by simulating the launch and on-orbit
observation procedures. Small anomalies and problems found during the
test have been corrected.
A decision to suspend the tests for the satellite bus module (i.e., the
structure excluding the observation equipment) was made after a review
on the anomaly and problems held on Nov. 7, 2003. The satellite, which
is mostly assembled, is now being stored in a clean room. The final
assembly will begin around December 2004.
The ASTRO-F project team is now renovating the mirror supporting
structure. We will continue to make the utmost effort to improve the
performance of the satellite by renovating its equipment so we may
launch in a timely fashion.
Photo : The Satellite integration test for the ASTRO-F satellite bus module