International X-ray Observatory
Phase: Under Study
Mission Project Home Page - http://ixo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Program(s):Physics of the Cosmos
The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) is a new X-ray telescope with joint participation from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). This project supersedes both NASA's Constellation-X and ESA's XEUS mission concepts.
In mid-2008, a officials from ESA, NASA, and JAXA headquarters agreed to conduct a joint study of IXO with a single merged set of top-level science goals. This agreement established key science measurement requirements. The spacecraft configuration for the IXO study is a mission featuring a single large X-ray mirror and an extendible optical bench, with a focal length of ~20 m, and a suite of five focal plane instruments.
The X-ray instruments under study for the IXO concept include: a wide field imaging detector, a high-spectral-resolution imaging spectrometer (calorimeter), a hard X-ray imaging detector, a grating spectrometer, a high timing resolution spectrometer, and a polarimeter. The IXO mission concept is being submitted to the U.S. Decadal Survey committee and to ESA's Cosmic Vision process.