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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

    20 December 2018
    LISA Preparatory Science 2018 (LPS) proposals have been selected! »  Full details
    17 December 2018
    NASA HQ has publicly posted an updated Astrophysics Implementation Plan (AIP), detailing progress made by NASA's Astrophysics Division in implementing the 2010 Decadal recommendations since the previous update in 2016. Please see »  full details
    29 November 2018
    The National Academies has released updated information about the 2020 Decadal Survey call for Community Science White Papers. They are now due 7 January–19 February 2019. See here for further instructions. Further, it is our pleasure to announce that the President of the National Academy of Sciences Marcia McNutt has appointed Dr. Fiona Harrison and Dr. Robert Kennicutt, Jr. to serve as co-chairs of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey committee.
    19 November 2018
    We would like to welcome our two new PhysPAG EC members, starting in Dec 2018. We extend our thanks to the three departing EC members.
    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

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