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: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

8 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

15 hours ago

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

17 hours ago

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

17 hours ago

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

18 hours ago

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

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.