IXPE Detector Unit Two

February 27, 2020: Detector unit two for the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) was transferred by the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - ASI) to the IXPE project at Marshall Space Flight Center. ASI's Italian Instrument Team temporarily operating at Marshall, completed modifications to Detector Unit 2 (DU2), a highly specialized unit that determines the polarization of incident X-rays. The DU2 then successfully withstood a vibration test. The Italian DU2 is flight hardware contributed for use by the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) Project. With the completion of this activity, and successful reduced-functional tests at MSFC, DU2 property custody was transferred from the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to IXPE (NASA). The DU2 will now be calibrated with the X-ray mirror assembly.

IXPE Launch Vehicle Selected

On July 8, 2019, NASA announced that SpaceX of Hawthorne, California will provide launch services for IXPE. The launch is targeted for April 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For the full press release, click HERE .

IXPE Passed!

The week of June 24 the IXPE mission successfully passed the Mission Critical Design Review (M-CDR).

X-ray Optics in the News

Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, appearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on April 26, 2017, mentioned grazing incidence X-ray mirrors being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center. Dr. Zurbuchen's remarks may be found HERE, at approximately 1 hour 21 minutes.

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