INTEGRAL (International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) was selected by the ESA Science Programme Committee on 3 June 1993 as the next ESA medium-size scientific mission (M2) of the Horizon 2000 programme to be launched in 2002. The mission is conceived as an observatory led by ESA with contributions from Russia (Proton launcher) and NASA (Deep Space Network ground station). NASA's participation was conducted under the Explorers program.
The ESA scientific mission INTEGRAL is dedicated to the fine spectroscopy (E/deltaE = 500) and fine imaging (angular resolution: 12 arcmin FWHM) of celestial gamma-ray sources in the energy range 15 keV to 10 MeV with concurrent source monitoring in the X-ray (3-35 keV. and optical (V-band, 550 nm) energy ranges.
The mission utilises the service module (bus) under development for the ESA XMM project. INTEGRAL was launched by a Russian Proton into a highly eccentric 72-hour orbit. The nominal lifetime of the observatory was be 2 years with possible extension to up to 5 years. Most of the observing time will be made available to the worldwide scientific community.
INTEGRAL carries two main Gamma-ray instruments:
Two other instruments complement the Gamma-ray detectors:
INTEGRAL science operations are extended until 31 December 2024, enabling support of the fourth international campaign of joint observations of gravitational waves by the network of instruments LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA, currently planned to start in May 2023 and lasting for 18 months. This will be followed by two years of post-operations and monitoring of the spacecraft until re-entry in February 2029.
|Nation:||Europe, Russia, USA|
|Type / Application:||Astronomy, Gamma|
|Equipment:||SPI, IBIS, OMC, JEM-X|
|Configuration:||XMM Servicemodule with experiment module|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Lifetime:||2 years (minimum), 5 years (planned); still active|
|Orbit:||10.000 km × 153.000 km, 51.6° (at beginning); 31.000 km × 153.000 km, 86.5° (after 5 years);|
|INTEGRAL||2002-048A||17.10.2002||Ba LC-200/39||Proton-K Blok-DM-2|