DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5 flight 504. Artwork showing a cut-away view of the European Ariane 5 launcher for flight 504, which deployed the XMM-Newton X-ray telescope on 10th December 1999. This satellite (black) is seen in the upper stage (upper centre). The Ariane 5 launcher consists of a large first stage (lower 2/3rds of the central vehicle) flanked by two solid rocket boosters, with a smaller second stage (top 1/3rd). Most of the first stage comprises the vast liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, which feed the single Vulcain motor (at bottom). The XMM-Newton X-ray telescope was launched into a highly elliptical orbit and is used to study black holes, supernovae and other high energy phenomena.
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