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X-Ray Timing Explorer

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1995-074A

Description

The X-Ray Timing Explorer (XTE) mission has the primary objective to study the temporal and broad-band spectral phenomena associated with stellar and galactic systems containing compact objects in the energy range 2--200 KeV, and in time scales from microseconds to years. The scientific instruments consists of two pointed instruments, the Proportional Counter Array (PCA) and the High-Energy X-ray Timing Experiment (HEXTE), and the All Sky Monitor (ASM), which scans over 70% of the sky each orbit. All of the XTE observing time will be available to the international scientific community through a peer review of submitted proposals. XTE uses a new spacecraft design that allows flexible operations through rapid pointing, high data rates, and nearly continuous receipt of data at the Science Operations Center at Goddard Space Flight Center via a Multiple Access link to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). XTE is highly maneuverable with a slew rate of greater than 6 degrees per minute. The PCA/HEXTE can be pointed anywhere in the sky to an accuracy of less than 0.1 degree, with an aspect knowledge of around 1 arc-minute. Rotatable solar panels enable anti-sunward pointing to coordinate with ground-based night-time observations. Two pointable high gain antennas maintain nearly continuous communication with the TDRSS. This, together with 1 GB (approximately four orbits) of on-board solid-state data storage, give added flexibility in scheduling observations.

Alternate Names

  • 23757
  • Explorer 69
  • RXTE
  • Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer
  • XTE
  • X-RayTimingExplorer

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1995-12-30
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 3200 kg
Nominal Power: 800 W

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)

Discipline

  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. James B. JoyceMission Operations ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Centerjjoyce@ccmime.gsfc.nasa.gov
Mr. Dale F. SchulzProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Centerdschulz@pop400.gsfc.nasa.gov
Dr. John LintottProgram ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. William D. DavisMission ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Centerwilliam.d.davis.1@gsfc.nasa.gov
Dr. Richard E. RothschildMission Principal InvestigatorUniversity of California, San Diego
Dr. Jean H. SwankProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Centerswank@pcasun1.gsfc.nasa.gov
Mr. James S. BarrowmanProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Centerjbarrowmn@pop400.gsfc.nasa.gov
Dr. Louis J. KaluzienskiProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
Dr. Llewellyn W. NicholsonMission ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Hale V. BradtMission Principal InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of Technologyhale@mit.edu

US Active Archive for XTE Information/Data

The RXTE Archive at HEASARC

Other Sources of XTE Information/Data

MIT All Sky Monitor team page
UCSD High Energy X-ray Timing Experiment (HEXTE) team page
GSFC Proportional Counter Array (PCA) Team

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