NASA Goddard mission approved to probe matter in extreme environments

Jun 28, 2008
NeXT Satellite with SXS Instrument
Artist's rendition of of NeXT with galaxies in the background -- one of the things it will study. Credit: NASA

An instrument to study the extreme environments of the universe has been given the "green light" from NASA Headquarters. The High-Resolution Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (SXS) was one of the two science proposals recently selected by NASA for the Explorer Program Mission of Opportunity investigations, and is managed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The SXS, to be developed at Goddard, will be installed on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's New exploration X-Ray Telescope, or NeXT. The observatory, currently planned for launch in 2013, will open a new observing window on X-rays and the study of astrophysical phenomena. NASA's proposed funding for the instrument and operations is $44 million.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to create a powerful new x-ray spectrometer that will open up a whole new realm in high energy astrophysics in collaboration with our partners in Japan," said Richard L. Kelley, the Principal Investigator for the SXS mission at Goddard. We have a great team in place that is anxiously waiting to start work."

The SXS will probe matter in extreme environments; investigate the nature of dark matter on large scales in the universe; and explore how galaxies and clusters of galaxies form and evolve.

Charles Gay, deputy associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington said missions like SXS "expand NASA's science through partnerships with international and commercial organizations."

The SXS was one of two investigations selected from among 17 proposals received by NASA earlier this year. They were evaluated by peer reviewers.

Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Explore further: Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

10 hours ago

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft first began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. Almost immediately, scientists began to wonder about several surprisingly deep, almost perfectly ...

Me and my world: The human factor in space

13 hours ago

The world around us is defined by how we interact with it. But what if our world was out of this world? As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how astronauts interact with the "world" ...

Radar guards against space debris

15 hours ago

Space debris poses a growing threat to satellites and other spacecraft, which could be damaged in the event of a collision. A new German space surveillance system, schedu- led to go into operation in 2018, will help to prevent ...

Why we need to keep adding leap seconds

16 hours ago

Today at precisely 10am Australian Eastern Standard time, something chronologically peculiar will take place: there'll be an extra second between 09:59:59 and 10:00:00.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.