The ABRIXAS (A Broadband Imaging X-Ray All-Sky Survey) small satellite (A BRoadband Imaging X-ray All-sky Survey Satellite) was designed to perform the first complete survey of the sky with an imaging telescope in the X-ray energy range from 0.5 to 10 keV.
ABRIXAS was to discover more than 10,000 new X-ray sources mainly active galaxies above 2 keV. In the centres of these galaxies, presumably black holes convert gravitational energy into high-energy radiation. Very often, like in our galaxy, clouds of gas and dust, which can be penetrated by high energy X-rays, cover the centres.
The satellite was launched in April 1999 on a Russian Kosmos-3M booster from Kapustin Yar.
Shortly after launch, the main battery overheated due to overcharging and failed. A workaround to communicate with the satellite when its solar arrays were sunlit was tried out, but after three days the communication attempts failed, rendering the mission a complete loss.
In 2003 a reflight of the ABRIXAS instrument as a NASA SMEX mission under the name DUO (Dark Universe Observatory) was under study, but was not selected.
ABRIXAS reentered the atmosphere on 31 October 2017.
|Type / Application:||Astronomy, X-Ray|
|Equipment:||7 Wolter telescopes with an X-ray CCD detector|
|Power:||Solar array, batteries|
|Lifetime:||3 years (planned)|
|Orbit:||544 km × 603 km, 48.4°|
|ABRIXAS||1999-022A||28.04.1999||KY LC-107||Kosmos-3M||with MegSat 0|