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).
Launch is planned for 2020 on a Pegasus-XL class vehicle. Due to budget adjustments, the mission was delayed six months to April 2021.
|Type / Application:||Astronomy, X-ray|
|Operator:||NASA Marshall Space Flight Center|
|Contractors:||Ball Aerospace (bus)|
|Equipment:||3 co-aligned X-ray telescopes|
|Power:||Deployable solar array, batteries|
|Orbit:||540 km × 540 km, 0°|
|IXPE (SMEX 14)||-||2021|