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Astrophsyics

PCOS Mission Studies

2013-2014 X-ray Probe Study

NASA's Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program established a Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) to study concepts for a potential reduced-scale strategic spectroscopy X-ray mission with total mission cost less than $1B in FY 2013 constant year dollars. The X-ray Probe (XAP) STDT was constituted to assist the Astrophysics Division, through its PCOS Program Office, in developing a reference mission concept of high scientific, technical, and programmatic merit that would both address the X-ray science goals and program prioritizations of the Decadal Survey New World New Horizons (NWNH) for X-ray astrophysics and be executable within the Astrophysics Division's notional budget profile. For further details, see the Call for Letters of Application for Membership in the Science and Technology Definition Teams for Reduced Scale X-ray Mission Concepts.

The mission study was ended with the 2014 selection of the Athena mission in Europe, at which point NASA began efforts to partner with ESA on Athena. Please see the Athena study page for more information.

Announcing: XAP STDT Membership

PCOS is pleased to announce the names of the 16 members of the XAP STDT. There was a tremendous positive response from the community, thank you to all those who applied.

  • XAP STDT Membership:
    • Jay Bookbinder (CfA), Co-chair
    • Niel Brandt (PSU)
    • Laura Brenneman (CfA)
    • Sebastian Heinz (U. Wisconsin)
    • Ann Hornschemeier (NASA GSFC), Co-chair
    • John Hughes (Rutgers)
    • Hironori Matsumoto (Nagoya), ISAS/JAXA Representative
    • Dan McCammon (U. Wisconsin)
    • Richard Mushotzky (U. Maryland)
    • Rachel Osten (STScI)
    • Paul Plucinsky (CfA)
    • Brian Ramsey (NASA MSFC)
    • Christopher Reynolds (U. Maryland)
    • Mark Schattenburg (MIT)
  • Ex Officio:
    • Robert Petre (NASA GSFC), XAP Study Scientist
    • Rita Sambruna (NASA HQ), PCOS Program Scientist

    Reference documents for the X-ray Probe Study


    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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