ESA’s X-ray space observatory XMM, has been fitted with its three X-ray telescopes. The extremely high-precision Mirror Modules, each with its 58 wafer-thin gold-covered mirror shells which give the mission its unprecedented vision of the X-ray universe.
The scientific objectives of this mission,for high-throughput X-ray spectroscopy,call for a powerfull imaging instrument with the largest possible collecting area, for high-quality spectral measurements of faint sources down to 2x10 -15 erg/cm2/s, together with fast low -and medium- resolution spectroscopy of brighter objects.
An assembly of 51 mirrors, carefully sized, formed and nested one inside another, makes the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever built. XMM will carry three identical telescopes of this kind.
This astrophysics mission is a Cornerstone in ESA’s long-term Space Science Programme Horizon-2000 and the launch took place on 10 of december 1999.