Media Lario S.r.l. has announced that the European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Media Lario’s unique technology for the alignment and integration of the optical system of the ATHENA telescope for further development.
ATHENA, one of the large-scale missions of ESA’s Cosmic Vision program, is an X-ray space telescope to be launched into orbit in 2031. The telescope’s primary optical system is comprised of 700 mirror modules, all precisely aligned within a Titanium structure. Athena will be placed in orbit 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. From this position, the 2.5-meter diameter telescope will provide unparalleled observations of high energy phenomena enabling further deep insights into the history of the Universe.
The integration process leverages on Media Lario’s 25-year experience in the manufacturing and integration of the optical systems for space X-ray missions such as Beppo-SAX, SWIFT, XMM-Newton and eROSITA. For this project, Media Lario has partnered with industrial and scientific experts that include ADS International, BCV Progetti, Cosine Research, Astronomical Observatory of Brera (INAF) and Thales Alenia Space. Media Lario would also like to recognize the participation of Dr. Paolo Conconi of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF).
The decision is the result of ESA’s review of different technologies by a dedicated board that recommended Media Lario’s technology based on the consideration of all the relevant aspects of the ATHENA flight program, such as alignment accuracy and schedule and cost risks.
Jeff Lyons, the CEO of Media Lario, said he was proud of the team at Media Lario for their hard work and dedication over the many years leading to this achievement. Being part of the ATHENA program is a great honor for the company as well as an exciting venture into expanding humankind’s knowledge of the Universe. The ATHENA observatory follows in the wake of the XMM-Newton mission that has recently provided evidence of the missing baryonic matter that fill the last 30% of the Universe’s ordinary matter. Media Lario manufactured and integrated the X-ray optics of the XMM-Newton telescope. Being selected by ESA for this project is a recognition of the hard work and dedication that dates back through the company's many years of experience with space X-ray telescopes.