Follow the departure of the mission responsible for probing the violent events of the universe

The XRISM mission will track the emission of certain X-rays in the universe, to better understand various cosmic events. Its takeoff can be followed live.

A Japanese rocket takes off at the end of August 2023, with a Japanese space probe on board. Its name: XRISM. Its mission: the study of X-rays to characterize some of the most violent cosmic events in the universe. The craft will be deployed in low Earth orbit, and will benefit both American, Japanese and European astronomers.

The launch in a nutshell

  • What ? The departure of the XRISM mission to study the cataclysmic events of the universe
  • When ? August 27, 2023, at 2 a.m. (Paris time);
  • Or ? At the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan;
  • What will we see? The flight of a Japanese H-IIA rocket.

What is the mission?

The Japanese space agency intends to deploy an observatory in low Earth orbit. From this observation post, the machine, called XRISM (acronym meaning X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission) will look at the most extreme events in the universe. The goal? Capturing the emission of high energies, via X-rays, in order to better understand certain phenomena.

Very high energies arise when huge cataclysms occur: star explosions, solar flares or supermassive black holes. Events that are more complicated to follow from the ground, because of the role played by the Earth’s atmosphere: it filters certain radiation, preventing it from reaching the surface.

Artist’s impression of the XRISM telescope. // Source: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Japan is historically a country that has been strongly mobilized in the study of high energies. Its space agency has sent or participated in various missions since 1975. The latest dates back to 2016. XRISM will embark two scientific instruments, including a relatively innovative one which will subsequently inspire another scientific mission, European this times.

Space telescope launch date

The start of the XRISM mission is expected on the night of August 26 to 27, 2023, at 2:30 a.m. (Paris time). The live broadcast will start a little earlier, at 2 a.m. The mission was originally scheduled to leave on the night of the 25th to the 26th, but unfavorable weather convinced the Japanese space agency to delay the flight for a day.

Follow the launch live

The launch will be broadcast online by the Japanese space agency.

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