X-ray Study

2014-2015 ESA-NASA Athena Study

In November 2013, ESA selected the "Hot and Energetic Universe" as the theme of the second large mission (L2) in its Cosmic Vision program. The theme is to be addressed by an X-ray Observatory led by ESA, to be launched in 2028. On June 27, 2014, ESA announced that the Athena is the mission to concept to fulfill this theme (see http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/54241-athena-to-study-the-hot-and-energetic-universe/). NASA is be working with ESA to define the possible NASA contribution to this ESA-led X-ray mission.

2013-2014 X-ray Probe Study

NASA's Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program plans to establish a Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) to study concepts for a potential reduced-scale strategic spectroscopy X-ray mission with total mission cost less than $1B in FY 2013 constant year dollars. The X-ray Probe (XAP) STDT is being constituted to assist the Astrophysics Division, through its PCOS Program Office, in developing a reference mission concept of high scientific, technical, and programmatic merit that would both address the X-ray science goals and program prioritizations of the Decadal Survey New World New Horizons (NWNH) for X-ray astrophysics and be executable within the Astrophysics Division's notional budget profile. For further details, see the Call for Letters of Application for Membership in the Science and Technology Definition Teams for Reduced Scale X-ray Mission Concepts.

2012 Architecting Studies

NASA's Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program is initiating two studies to develop mission concepts that could meet some or all of the objectives outlined in the New Worlds, New Horizons decadal report for the areas of X-ray astronomy and gravitational-wave science. The PCOS Program will work with these communities to define mission concepts that achieve these science objectives at multiple price points.

This begins with the release of a formal Request for Information (RFI) on each topic. In parallel, NASA will release an open solicitation inviting members of the science community to participate in a Community Science Team (CST) for the X-ray mission or the gravitational-wave mission. The Program Office will work with each CST to review the RFI responses. In the late Fall workshops, which will be open to the community, will be held to discuss the RFI responses and define the mission concepts that will be studied.

A PCOS Program study team, working with each CST, will identify the requirements relevant to each concept, define the mission configuration options, execute mission design runs at mission design laboratories, refine the mission concepts and draft a mission concept study report. The Program Office will integrate the mission reports in May 2012 for submission to the NRC's Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Details relevant to each of these architecting studies can be found by following the links below:

Program News

13 Jul 2015
Call for Nominations to the Executive Committee of the Physics of the Cosmos Program Analysis Group (PhysPAG) »  [Details]
3 Jan 2015
PhysPAG Activities at the 225th AAS Meeting, 4-7 Jan 2015 »  [Agenda]

Project News

Chandra News
23 Jun 2015
NASA's Chandra Captures X-Ray Echoes Pinpointing Distant Neutron Star » Details
Fermi News
9 Jan 2015
Third Catalog of Fermi-LAT Sources Released » Details
Planck News
31 Mar 2015
Herschel and Planck find missing clue to galaxy cluster formation
» Details
XMM-Newton News
19 Feb 2015
Widespread wind from black hole can shape star formation » Details

Related News

NuSTAR News
7 May 2015
Star Explosion is Lopsided, Finds NASA's NuSTAR » Details
Suzaku News
2 Apr 2015
Suzaku Studies Supernova 'Crime Scene,' Shows a Single White Dwarf to Blame » Details
Swift News
20 May 2015
NASA Spacecraft Capture Rare, Early Moments of Baby Supernovae » Details