Launch Time
Fri Dec 10, 1999 14:32 UTC

Flight V124.


Ariane 5 G
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 11,400 kN
Payload to GTO: 6,900 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 2
Rocket Height: 52.0 m

Mission Details


XMM-Newton, also known as the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy Mission and the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, is an X-ray space observatory launched by the European Space Agency in December 1999 on an Ariane 5 rocket. It is the second cornerstone mission of ESA's Horizon 2000 programme. Named after physicist and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton, the spacecraft is tasked with investigating interstellar X-ray sources, performing narrow- and broad-range spectroscopy, and performing the first simultaneous imaging of objects in both X-ray and optical (visible and ultraviolet) wavelengths.

Originally scheduled for a two-year mission, the spacecraft remains in good health and has received repeated mission extensions, most recently in November 2018, and is scheduled to operate until the end of 2020. It will probably receive a mission extension lasting until 2022. ESA plans to succeed XMM-Newton with the Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (ATHE) XMM-Newton is similar to NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, also launched in 1999.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 3,764.0 kg
Highly Elliptical Orbit


ELA-3, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



70th orbital launch attempt


112th mission
9th mission of 1999
107th successful mission
51st consecutive successful mission

Ariane 5

4th mission
1st mission of 1999
2nd successful mission
2nd consecutive successful mission