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Astrophsyics

Projects: Future Missions

Euclid Euclid
Launch date: Scheduled 2020

Euclid is an ESA-led mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe. Using two cosmological probes—weak lensing and baryonic acoustic oscillations—in a wide-field survey, Euclid will precisely measure the growth of large-scale structure and the expansion history of the Universe.


NASA Project Page: http://euclid.caltech.edu/
ESA Project Page: http://sci.esa.int/euclid/
Euclid consortium page: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/euclid/

ATHENA Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA)
Launch date: Scheduled 2028

By combining a large X-ray telescope with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, Athena will address key questions in astrophysics, including: how and why does ordinary matter assemble into the galaxies and galactic clusters that we see today? How do black holes grow and influence their surroundings?

Athena's powerful instruments will also allow unprecedented studies of a wide range of astronomical phenomena. These include distant gamma-ray bursts, the hot gas found in the space around clusters of galaxies, the magnetic interplay between exoplanets and their parent stars, Jupiter's auroras and comets in our own Solar System.

Athena is also a powerful, general-purpose observatory, able to address a wide range of current astrophysical topics.

At the June 2014 meeting of ESA's Science Programme Committee, Athena was selected as the mission for the 2nd Large mission opportunity, satisfying the Cosmic Vision theme the "Hot and Energetic Universe." Now, Athena moves into a study phase. Once the mission design and costing have been completed, it will eventually be proposed for 'adoption' in around 2019, before the start of construction.

NASA Mission Study: https://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/studies/athena/
ESA Mission Page: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/athena

L3/LISA LISA/L3
Launch date: Scheduled 2034

In response to the call of the European Space Agency (ESA) for L3 mission concepts, the LISA Mission consortium submitted a proposal for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) on 13th January 2017.

NASA Mission Study: https://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/studies/L3/
ESA Mission Page: http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/53259-esas-new-vision-to-study-the-invisible-universe/

Related Future Missions

IXPE Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE)
Launch date: 11/2020
https://wwwastro.msfc.nasa.gov/ixpe/

The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) will exploit the polarization state of light from astrophysical sources to provide insight into our understanding of X-ray production in objects such as neutron stars and pulsar wind nebulae, as well as stellar and supermassive black holes. IXPE will improve sensitivity over OSO-8, the only previous X-ray polarimeter, by two orders of magnitude in required exposure time. IXPE also will introduce the capability for X-ray polarimetric imaging, uniquely enabling the measurement of X-ray polarization with scientifically meaningful spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution, to address NASA's Science Mission Directorate's science goal "to probe the origin and destiny of our universe, including the nature of black holes, dark energy, dark matter, and gravity."



PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

31 May 2019
Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA SMD Associate Administrator, invites the science community to a live-streamed national colloquium on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (4:00–6:00 pm EDT) on "Writing Successful Mission Proposals: Observations from NASA." To attend in person at the University of Colorado campus, please RSVP here. The live stream will be available here. For further details, please see the colloquium invitation. »  Details
17 May 2019
Following up on a Nov 2018 mission PI diversity workshop, the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is planning a number of exciting opportunities open to community participation, including a new website for potential PIs, pre-review mission panels to ensure diversity and reduce conflicts of interest, research proposal writing workshops at conferences and for PIs developing their first proposal, career development positions, and a presentation by SMD Associate Administrator Thomas H. Zurbuchen on proposal statistical analysis. Please see the Associate Administrator's full update here.
16 May 2019
June 1 2019 is the deadline for filling and submitting the technology gap submission form. We encourage members of the community to identify such gaps between today's state-of-the-art and what will be needed for missions identified by the 2010 Decadal Survey, the 2018 Astrophysics Implementation Plan, and/or the 30-year Astrophysics Road Map. Please see the Astrophysics Division Technologists letter for more details, including how to submit a gap.
25 March 2019
NASA HQ Astrophysics Division has created a task force to assess NASA's role in strategic optimization of Gravitational Wave Electromagnetic Counterpart (GW-EM) astrophysics. See the Terms of Reference for more details.
1 February 2019
Dr Terri Brandt confirmed as PCOS Chief Scientist.

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