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Astrophsyics

Projects: Future Missions

Euclid Euclid
Launch date: Scheduled 2022

Euclid is an ESA-led mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe. Using two cosmological probes—weak lensing and baryonic acoustic oscillations—in a wide-field survey, Euclid will precisely measure the growth of large-scale structure and the expansion history of the Universe.


NASA Project Page: http://euclid.caltech.edu/
ESA Project Page: http://sci.esa.int/euclid/
Euclid consortium page: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/euclid/

ATHENA Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA)
Launch date: Scheduled 2028

By combining a large X-ray telescope with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, Athena will address key questions in astrophysics, including: how and why does ordinary matter assemble into the galaxies and galactic clusters that we see today? How do black holes grow and influence their surroundings?

Athena's powerful instruments will also allow unprecedented studies of a wide range of astronomical phenomena. These include distant gamma-ray bursts, the hot gas found in the space around clusters of galaxies, the magnetic interplay between exoplanets and their parent stars, Jupiter's auroras and comets in our own Solar System.

Athena is also a powerful, general-purpose observatory, able to address a wide range of current astrophysical topics.

At the June 2014 meeting of ESA's Science Programme Committee, Athena was selected as the mission for the 2nd Large mission opportunity, satisfying the Cosmic Vision theme the "Hot and Energetic Universe." Now, Athena moves into a study phase. Once the mission design and costing have been completed, it will eventually be proposed for 'adoption' in around 2019, before the start of construction.

NASA Mission Study: https://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/studies/athena/
ESA Mission Page: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/athena

L3/LISA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)
Launch date: Scheduled 2034

In response to the call of the European Space Agency (ESA) for L3 mission concepts, the LISA Mission consortium submitted a proposal for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) on 13th January 2017.

NASA Mission Study: https://lisa.nasa.gov/
ESA Mission Page: http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/53259-esas-new-vision-to-study-the-invisible-universe/

Related Future Missions

The following missions are part of the Explorer Program, but their science is closely related to the Physics of the Cosmos Theme.

IXPE Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE)
Launch date: 11/2021
https://wwwastro.msfc.nasa.gov/ixpe/

The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) will exploit the polarization state of light from astrophysical sources to provide insight into our understanding of X-ray production in objects such as neutron stars and pulsar wind nebulae, as well as stellar and supermassive black holes. IXPE will improve sensitivity over OSO-8, the only previous X-ray polarimeter, by two orders of magnitude in required exposure time. IXPE also will introduce the capability for X-ray polarimetric imaging, uniquely enabling the measurement of X-ray polarization with scientifically meaningful spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution, to address NASA's Science Mission Directorate's science goal "to probe the origin and destiny of our universe, including the nature of black holes, dark energy, dark matter, and gravity."

XRISM X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM)
Expected Launch: 2021
http://xrism.isas.jaxa.jp/en/

Through high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy, XRISM will transform our understanding of the hot and energetic universe, allowing ground-breaking new scientific research into black holes, clusters of galaxies, compact objects, and the aftermath of stellar explosions. XRISM is a JAXA/NASA collaborative mission with ESA participation, and contains two instruments: Resolve—a microcalorimeter spectrometer, providing < 7 eV spectral resolution over the 0.4–12 keV bandpass, and Xtend—a wide field CCD X-ray imager with a 38'x38' field of view. XRISM is scheduled for launch in fall 2022 on a Japanese HII-A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center.


The European Space Agency LISA observatory


PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

18 January 2021
Meeting of Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (AAAC) on 26–27 January 2021 »  Details.
14 January 2021
NuSTAR General Observer Cycle 7 Proposal Deadline 29 January 2021 »  Details.
6 January 2021
Draft Astrophysics Explorers Program Solicitations Released for Community Comment for Solicitations for both Medium Explorer (MIDEX) and Missions of Opportunity (APEXMO) and Comments for both draft solicitations due by 25 February 2021 »  Details.
16 December 2020
The 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Virtually Anywhere, 11–15 January 2021, will include Physics of the Cosmos events. The PCOS AAS2021 Meeting page lists currently scheduled sessions, presentations, chats, and displays »  Details.
4 December 2020
Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) Step-2 Due Date. Step-2 proposals now due 3 February 2021. Step-1 proposal due date unchanged as 11 December 2020 »  Details.
4 December 2020
Release of Final text and Due Dates for ROSES Post-COVID Recovery program. Requests received by 4 January 2021 will be processed first. Final due date is 5 March 2021. »  Details.

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