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RE: Integral satellite
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Integral manoeuvres for the future

Since 2002, ESA's Integral spacecraft has been observing some of the most violent events in the Universe, including gamma-ray bursts and black holes. While it still has years of life ahead, its fuel will certainly run out one day.
Integral, one of ESA's longest-serving and most successful space observatories, has begun a series of four thruster burns carefully designed to balance its scientific life with a safe reentry in 2029.

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Title: INTEGRAL: status of the mission - after 10 years
Authors: Christoph Winkler

The ESA gamma-ray observatory INTEGRAL, launched on 17 October 2002, continues to produce a wealth of discoveries and new results on compact high energy Galactic objects, nuclear gamma-ray line emission, diffuse line and continuum emission, cosmic background radiation, AGN, high energy transients and sky surveys. Ten years after launch, the spacecraft, ground segment and payload are in excellent state-of-health, and INTEGRAL is continuing its scientific operations well beyond its 5-year technical design lifetime until, at least, 31December 2014. This paper summarises the current status of INTEGRAL.

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Integral: a decade revealing the high-energy sky

ESA's Integral, the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory ever launched, today celebrates ten years of observations. From rare breeds of stars to the feeding habits of black holes, the mission has been uncovering the secrets of the most energetic phenomena in the Universe.
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Celebrating ten years of Integral science

This week, ESA's Integral space observatory celebrates ten years since launch on 17 October 2002. To mark the occasion, we present a slideshow of artist's impressions depicting some of Integral's most important discoveries.
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INTEGRAL/IBIS survey
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INTEGRAL completes the deepest all-sky survey in hard X-rays

A newly developed image analysis technique has significantly improved the sensitivity limits reached by the IBIS imager on board INTEGRAL, resulting in the deepest survey ever compiled of the entire sky in the energy range between 17 and 60 keV. Pushing the instrument towards its very limits, the novel method discloses a vast number of previously undetected faint sources, galactic and extragalactic alike.
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New scientific riches from Integral
Astronomers from around the world have been discussing the extraordinary scientific riches that have flowed from ESAs orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral. Here we present the gist of some of the astonishing ones.
 When Integral was launched in 2002 it was intended to take detailed gamma-ray images and spectra of the universe and to look for new types of sources in this relatively unexplored field. In all these objectives, it has excelled.

The soft gamma-ray sky
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This image shows the soft gamma-ray sky, as revealed by Integral during its first five years of operation. Soft gamma rays each have energy somewhere between 20-100 keV. Most sources of celestial gamma ray in the Universe emit in this region of the gamma ray spectrum. This image is a mosaic of data taken with the Imager on Board the Integral Satellite (IBIS).

Credits: ESA/ Integral/ IBIS Survey Team

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With eyes that peer into the most energetic phenomena in the universe, ESAs Integral has been setting records, discovering the unexpected and helping understanding the unknown over its first five years.

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Integral - 5th anniversary

ESA TV Service broadcast:
17-Oct-07 08:10 - 09:30 GMT

Replay 1: 17 October 15:00-15:15 GMT
Replay 2: 20 October 10:45-11:00 GMT


Preview clip (32.11mb, wmv)
The script (27kb, PDF)

ESA's INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory is detecting some of the most energetic radiation that comes from space. It is the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory ever launched. INTEGRAL is an ESA mission in cooperation with Russia and the United States.

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http://television.esa.int

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Integral observatory
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Integral is the first space observatory that can simultaneously observe objects in gamma rays, X-rays, and visible light. Its principal targets are gamma-ray bursts, powerful supernova explosions, and regions in the Universe thought to contain black holes. EuroNews talks to various scientists who are obtaining fascinating results from this laboratory.
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GRB030406
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Thanks to a clever piece of design and a sophisticated piece of analysis by European astronomers, Integral - ESA’s orbiting gamma ray observatory - can now make images of the most powerful gamma-ray bursts even if the spacecraft itself is pointing somewhere completely different.

Scientists know that once every day or two, a powerful gamma ray burst (GRB) will take place somewhere in the Universe. Most will last between 0.1 and 100 seconds, so if your telescope is not pointing in exactly the right place at the right time, you will miss taking an image of it – unless that telescope is Integral. The satellite can now take images round corners, if the gamma-ray blast is strong enough.
When GRB 030406 exploded unexpectedly in early April this year, Integral was observing another part of the Universe, about 74 times the diameter of the full Moon away. Nevertheless Dr Radoslaw Marcinkowski, Space Research Center, Warsaw, Poland, and colleagues have reconstructed an image of the event using the radiation that passed through the side of Integral’s imaging telescope.

The key is that the Imager on-Board Integral Satellite (IBIS) uses two detector layers, one on top of the other. Most gamma-ray telescopes contain just a single detector layer. In IBIS, the higher energy gamma rays trigger the first detector layer, losing some energy in the process, but they are not completely absorbed. This is known as Compton scattering. The deflected gamma rays then pass through to the layer below where they can be captured and absorbed because they have given up some energy in their passage through the first layer.

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