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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

    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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