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SAX (BeppoSAX)


SAX (Satellite Astronomia Raggio-X) is the X-Ray Astronomy Satellite selected by the Italian National Space Plan for inclusion in the Science Plan. The objective of the mission is to perform spectroscopic and time variability studies of celestial X-ray sources in the energy band from 1 to 200 keV. including an all-sky monitoring investigation of transients in the 2-30 range. The payload includes the following narrow-field detectors coaligned to a common pointing axis:

  • four X-ray imaging concentrators sensitive from 1 to 10 keV.(one of them extending down to 0.1 keV.,
  • one gas scintillation proportional counter sensitive from 3 to 12 keV. and
  • a sodium iodide scintillator crystal in phoswich configuration operating from 15 to 200  keV.

At 90 deg to the axis of the narrow field instruments is an array of three identical wide field camera units sensitive from 2 to 30 keV. The SAX mission payload and science program is under the responsibility of a consortium of Italian institutes together with institutes from Holland.

The onboard experiments are:

  • Narrow Field X-ray Imaging Concentrators
  • Narrow Field Sodium Iodine Scintillation Detector
  • Wide Field Multiwire Proportional Counter Camera
  • Narrow Field Gas Scintillation Proportional Counter (PHOSWICH)

After reaching orbit, SAX was renamed BeppoSAX. BeppoSAX decayed from orbit on April, 29. 2003.

Nation: Italy, Netherlands
Type / Application: Astronomy, X-Ray
Operator: ASI
Contractors: Alenia Spazio
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 900 kg
Orbit: 575 km × 594 km, 4
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SAX (BeppoSAX) 1996-027A 30.04.1996 CC LC-36B Atlas-1