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Mission type Astronomy
Operator JAXA
Start of mission
Launch date 2016[1]
Rocket H-IIA
Launch site Tanegashima Y1
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 550 kilometres (340 mi)
Apogee 550 kilometres (340 mi)
Inclination 31 degrees
Period 96 minutes
Epoch Planned
Main telescope
Wavelengths X-ray

ASTRO-H (also known as NeXT for New X-ray Telescope) is a planned X-ray astronomy satellite under development by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is expected to be launched in 2016[1][2] into the 550 km height orbit around earth. Launch vehicle will be the H-IIA.

With a planned mass of 2,400 kilograms (5,300 lb), ASTRO-H will be the heaviest Japanese astronomy mission so far. When its telescope is extended in orbit, the satellite will be 14 meters in length.

The observatory is designed to extend the research conducted by Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) by investigating the hard X-ray band above 10 keV.[3] NASA is participating with this project by committing the High-Resolution Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (SXS).[4] Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) will build the filter-wheel and calibration source for the spectrometer.[5] This calibration source corrects for instabilities in the spectrometer. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA)[6] is developing the Canadian Astro-H Metrology System (CAMS).[7] CAMS is a laser alignment system that will be used to measure the distortions in the extendible optical bench.


  • Hard X-ray Telescope (HXT)
  • Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT-S, SXT-I)
  • Hard X-ray Imager (HXI)
  • Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS)
  • Soft X-ray Imager (SXI)
  • Soft Gamma-ray Detector (SGD)
  • Canadian Astro-H Metrology System (CAMS)


  1. ^ a b Astro-H mission
  2. ^ Shirron, Peter. "[Invited Oral] Performance Testing of the Flight Model Astro-H 3-stage ADR" (PDF). Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  3. ^ High Energy Astrophysics (2008). "The New X-ray Telescope". ISAS. Retrieved June 24, 2008. 
  4. ^ NASA (2008). "NASA Selects Explorer Mission of Opportunity Investigations". NASA. Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  5. ^ SRON (2010). "SRON - ASTRO-H". Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
  6. ^ Canada Partners on Upcoming Japanese X-ray Space Observatory. Canadian Space Agency.
  7. ^ Canadian Astro-H Metrology System (CAMS)

External links[edit]