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Infrared Imaging Satellite "ASTRO-F"


2003/12/4 Update
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

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