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Astrophsyics

PCOS Mission Studies

2013-2014 X-ray Probe Study

NASA's Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program established 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 was 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.

The mission study was ended with the 2014 selection of the Athena mission in Europe, at which point NASA began efforts to partner with ESA on Athena. Please see the Athena study page for more information.

Announcing: XAP STDT Membership

PCOS is pleased to announce the names of the 16 members of the XAP STDT. There was a tremendous positive response from the community, thank you to all those who applied.

  • XAP STDT Membership:
    • Jay Bookbinder (CfA), Co-chair
    • Niel Brandt (PSU)
    • Laura Brenneman (CfA)
    • Sebastian Heinz (U. Wisconsin)
    • Ann Hornschemeier (NASA GSFC), Co-chair
    • John Hughes (Rutgers)
    • Hironori Matsumoto (Nagoya), ISAS/JAXA Representative
    • Dan McCammon (U. Wisconsin)
    • Richard Mushotzky (U. Maryland)
    • Rachel Osten (STScI)
    • Paul Plucinsky (CfA)
    • Brian Ramsey (NASA MSFC)
    • Christopher Reynolds (U. Maryland)
    • Mark Schattenburg (MIT)
  • Ex Officio:
    • Robert Petre (NASA GSFC), XAP Study Scientist
    • Rita Sambruna (NASA HQ), PCOS Program Scientist

    Reference documents for the X-ray Probe Study



    PCOS News

    Program News and Announcements

    14 September 2018
    NASA's Astrophysics Division issues open call for nominations, including self-nominations, to serve on the Executive Committee of NASA's Physics of the Cosmos Program Analysis Group, or PhysPAG. Deadline for receipt of nominations is October 19, 2018. »  Full details [PDF].
    24 July 2018
    The National Academies has released information about the 2020 Decadal Survey call for Community Science White Papers. They will be due 7–18 January 2019. See here for further instructions.
    1 June 2018
    MMA SAG analyzing the benefits of multimessenger observations made possible by NASA observatories in the 2020 decade and beyond launched! Join the kickoff telecon Friday, 8 June, and sign up today! »  Full details
    26 Feb 2018
    LISA Preparatory Science is a new program element in ROSES 2018 to provide support for U.S. investigators involved in analysis and interpretation of simulated LISA data. Mandatory NOIs are due 19 Mar 2018 and full proposals are due 14 Jun 2018.

    Project News

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