19 July 2017
China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, launched in mid June, is expected to start regular observation in November and its data will be open to scientists all over the world, say the main designers of the satellite's data system. The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), dubbed Insight, transmitted to a ground station its first data on its second day in orbit. The data proved to be of good quality, and the telescope detected a gamma-ray burst 10 days after its launch. "We will finish calibrating all instruments within the first five months in orbit before Insight starts regular observation," said Song Liming, deputy chief designer of the HXMT science ground segment and a scientist with the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Song and his team solicited observation proposals from scientists around the country last year, and drew up a one-year observation plan after evaluating 90 proposals from six CAS institutes and 10 universities.
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