How to watch the XRISM X-ray mission launch this weekend

The upcoming weekend holds great excitement for space enthusiasts, with two significant launches set to take place within close proximity. On Friday, August 25, a Crew Dragon spacecraft propelled by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry four crew members as part of the Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station. Just a day later, on Saturday, August 26, another launch will occur – the collaborative European and Japanese X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM).

You can catch both launches via live stream, so if you’re interested in a weekend of rocket-watching, we’ve got you covered. We’ve already provided information on how to watch the Crew-7 launch. Keep reading for further instructions on tuning in to the XRISM launch.


What to expect from the XRISM launch

XRISM stands as a collaborative venture between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese space agency, known as JAXA. The primary objective involves launching a space-based mission equipped with two instruments: Resolve, designed for measuring the X-ray-emitting object temperatures, and Xtend, intended for X-ray object imaging.

X-ray observations play a vital role in comprehending extraordinary phenomena like supernovas and the collision of black holes, events that emit substantial radiation, particularly at high energy levels. XRISM will join the ranks of missions such as NASA’s Chandra and ESA’s XMM-Newton in exploring this specific segment of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Matteo Guainazzi, the ESA project scientist for XRISM, emphasized, “X-ray astronomy empowers us to scrutinize the most energetically charged occurrences in the universe. It holds the answers to pivotal questions in modern astrophysics: the evolution of the universe’s grandest structures, the distribution of the fundamental matter across the cosmos, and the influence of massive black holes at the cores of galaxies.” This statement was made in reference to the project’s significance.

How to watch the XRISM launch

XRISM is set to embark on its journey to a low-Earth orbit via an H-IIA rocket, launching from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. The scheduled launch time is 8:34 p.m. ET (5:34 p.m. PT) on August 26.

The launch proceedings will be broadcast live by JAXA in both Japanese and English. The coverage will commence at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). You can partake in the viewing experience either by visiting YouTube or by utilizing the video player conveniently located near the top of this page.


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