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Mission Profile

Name (pre-launch in parentheses) GINGA (ASTRO-C)
International Designation Code 1987-012A
Objectives Observation of X-ray sources in active galactic nucleus and precise observation of X-ray celestial bodies
Launch Date February 5, 1987
Location Kagoshima Space Center (Uchinoura)
Launch Vehicle
Configuration Weight 420kg
Shape 1m × 1m × 1.5m
Four solar paddles

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Orbit Altitude Perigee 530km, Apogee 595km
Inclination 31°
Type of Orbit Near circular
Period 96min.
Scientific Instruments Scientific Instruments Large Area Counter (LAC)
All-Sky Monitor (ASM)
Gamma-ray Burst Detector (GBD)
(LAC was developed by international cooperation with the University of Leicester in the UK and with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S.A.)
End of Operation November 1, 1991
Reentered Date November 1, 1991
Operation It was originally planned that GINGA’s attitude control would be performed automatically by the onboard star sensor. In orbit, however, automatic identification of a star proved to be difficult and so attitude control was performed using gyro data only.
Results After the launch, a supernova emerged in the Great Magellan Cloud on February 23, the first time in four centuries. In August, GINGA successfully observed cosmic X-rays emitted from the supernova. The satellite also discovered and observed supernova remnants, high-temperature plasma inside dark nebula, a flare that occurred in the binary system, variations in the Seyfert Galaxy's nucleus, spectra of quasars, etc.