Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.

Explorer: IXPE (SMEX 14)

IXPE (SMEX 14) [NASA]

IXPE (Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer) is a X-ray observatory led by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, measuring the linear polarization of astronomical objects as a function of energy, time and, where relevant, position to improve the understanding of how X-ray emission is produced in objects such as magnetars, isolated pulsars, pulsar wind nebula and supernova remnants, microquasars, active galaxies and supermassive black holes.

As the first dedicated polarimetry observatory IXPE will add a new dimension to the study of cosmic sources, enlarging the observational phase space and providing answers to fundamental questions. IXPE will feature x-ray optics fabricated at NASA/MSFC and gas pixel focal plane detectors provided by team members in Italy (INAF and INFN).

The mission is baselined to be built on an Ball Aerospace BCP-300 based bus. The 4.5 m mast holding the X-ray optics is a shorter version of the NuSTAR mast.

Launch is planned for 2020 on a Pegasus-XL class vehicle.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Astronomy, X-ray
Operator: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Contractors: Ball Aerospace (bus)
Equipment: 3 co-aligned X-ray telescopes
Configuration: BCP-300
Propulsion: None
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 2-3 years
Mass: ~300 kg
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
IXPE (SMEX 14) - 2020