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Media Lario’s technology for the alignment and integration of the ATHENA X-ray space telescope selected by the ESA for further development.

(9 October 2018 - Media Lario) Media Lario, a world leader in high-precision optics and optical systems, announced today 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, CEO of Media Lario, commented, “I am very proud of the team here at Media Lario for their hard work and dedication over the many years leading to this achievement. Being part of the ATHENA program is not only a great honor for the company but also 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. We are particularly proud of this achievement because Media Lario manufactured and integrated the X-ray optics of the XMM-Newton telescope. It is this kind of endeavor that motivates us all in our work. Being selected by ESA for this project is a recognition of the hard work and dedication that dates back through our many years of experience with space X-ray telescopes.”

Media Lario is located north of the industrial hub of Milan, Italy, in the region of Lombardia and Lake Como, an area rich with opto-mechanical expertise and experience in the precision optical industry.