AXAF-S (Advanced X-Ray Astronomy Facility - Spectrometer) was the X-ray spectroscopy mission spun off from the original AXAF X-ray observatory. AXAF-S was to be a part of NASA's Great Observatories and was to measure high energy X-rays, emitted from such objects as black holes, neutron stars, and quasars.
The mission was to feature only one instrument, the XRS X-ray spectrometer, which was to provide X-ray spectra with a resolution of ~12 eV over the energy range of 0.3 to 10 keV by using calorimeters cooled to a temperature of less than 0.1 K. To provide this low temperature, it used an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator, which in turn was cooled by superfluid Helium.
The AXAF-S spacecraft consisted of a 4 m optical bench (0.75 m in diameter), a 1090 liter, 2 m diameter Dewar bottle surrounding the science instruments (for cooling of the X-ray calorimeters) mounted at the end of the optical bench, and a 1.8 m × 2 m × 1.4 m electronics mounting structure (known as the "spacecraft bus") built around the aft half of the optical bench. The two solar array wings (6.2 m × 2 m each) are mounted to the "spacecraft bus".
AXAF-S was to be a low earth orbit mission launched on a Delta-7920 from Vandenberg AFB in 1999.
The mission was cancelled in October 1993 and the XRS instrument was integrated into the Japanese Astro-E satellite.
|Type / Application:||Astronomy, X-Ray|
|Operator:||NASA Marshall Space Flight Center|
|Contractors:||NASA Marshall Space Flight Center|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Orbit:||1176 km polar orbit|