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Astrophsyics

Projects: Past Missions

Planck Planck
Launch date: 14 May 2009
Retired: 23 October 2013
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Planck/

Planck was decommissioned in 2013, but data analysis activities continue.


LISA Pathfinder/ST7 LISA Pathfinder/ST7
Launch date: 3 December 2015
Retired: 18 July 2017
http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/lisa-pathfinder/

LISA Pathfinder was an ESA technology test mission for the eLISA/NGO mission to search for gravitational waves generated by massive objects such as black holes. NASA contributed one of two payloads, named ST-7.

LISA Pathfinder paved the way for eLISA/NGO. It tested new methods of spacecraft control and determined if laser interferometry is feasible at the level of accuracy required by eLISA/NGO.

LISA Pathfinder placed two test-masses in a nearly perfect gravitational free-fall, for controlling and measuring their motion with unprecedented accuracy. This was achieved through state-of-the-art technology comprising inertial sensors, a laser metrology system, a drag-free control system, and an ultra-precise micro-propulsion system.

All these technologies are essential not only for eLISA/NGO—they also lie at the heart of any future space-based test of Einstein's General Relativity. LISA Pathfinder was launched in 2015.

Final Launch Preparations for LISA Pathfinder: Images of Integration of LISA Pathfinder into VEGA rocket. Photo credit(s): ESA, Manuel Pedoussaut, 2015

Related Past Missions

The following retired missions were part of the Explorer Program, but their science is closely related to the Physics of the Cosmos Theme.

Hitomi Hitomi
Launch date: 12 February 2016
http://astro-h.isas.jaxa.jp/en/

Hitomi (formerly ASTRO-H) is an X-ray observation satellite that will explore the extreme universe, particularly high energy phenomena around black holes and supernova explosions, and clusters of galaxies filled with high-temperature plasma.

Rossi XTE RXTE
Launch date: 30 December 1995
Decommissioned: 5 January 2012
http://rxte.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Suzaku Suzaku
Launch date: 10 July 2005
http://suzaku.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Swift WMAP
Launch date: 30 June 2001
Last command received: 28 October 2010
http://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov/

The European Space Agency LISA observatory


PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

21 October 2020
Revised submission date: Applications Sought for PhysPAG Executive Committee. Submissions now due November 6. »  Details.
14 October 2020
Astrophysics Advisory Committee meeting on 19–21 October 2020 »  Details.
14 October 2020
Astrophysics Explorers Announcement of Opportunity Community Announcement »  Details.
17 September 2020
NASA announces major revisions in Astrophysics Research and Analysis opportunity. Due dates remain unchanged. »  Details.
17 September 2020
NASA releases Citizen Science Seed Funding Program opportunity. Notices of Intent requested by 13 October 2020, with proposals due 11 December 2020. »  Details.
17 September 2020
NASA extends due date for Astrophysics Pioneers opportunity. Proposals are now due 8 October 2020. »  Details.
15 September 2020
Applications Sought for PhysPAG Executive Committee »  Details.
9 September 2020
Swift Cycle 17 Guest Investigator proposals due on 25 September 2020 »  Details.
4 September 2020
SMD Community Town Hall on Thurs 10 September »  Details.
4 September 2020
NuSTAR requests self-nominations for Users' Committee »  Details.
18 August 2020
XMM-Newton Guest Observer Announcement of Opportunity. »  Details.
17 August 2020
New Phase-1 Proposal Due Date for NICER Guest Observer Cycle 3. »  Details.
29 July 2020
Community Announcement: Intention to Amend ROSES-20 via a Future Appendix for Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM). »  Details.
27 July 2020
Snowmass 21 planning underway, with several topical groups on PCOS-related science. »  Details.
23 July 2020
New deadline set for JWST Cycle 1 General Observer proposals. Proposals will be due by 08:00 pm Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday November 24, 2020. »  Details.
2 July 2020
NASA releases final text for Astrophysics Pioneers opportunity. Notices of Intent due 13 August 2020; proposals due 1 October 2020. »  Details.

Project News

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  • Web Curator: Pat Tyler
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