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Micro-X


X-ray space telescope payload being developed for NASA's sounding rocket program.

The Micro-X mission is a rocket-borne telescope with a new type of X-ray detector that will revolutionize X-ray astrophysics and the use of high resolution X-ray spectroscopy. Our detectors, called Transition-edge Sensor (TES) Microcalorimeters, measure the energy of a photon by sensing the small change in temperature when the photon is absorbed in the TES. With TESs, the combination of high energy resolution, high efficiency, precise timing, and potential for true imaging spectroscopy at X-ray energies is unparalleled by any other technology today. TESs are being developed for future NASA missions like IXO, and will open up new frontiers in our ability to study black holes and strong gravity, dark matter, dark energy, the evolution of structure formation in our universe and the cycles of matter and energy. Micro-X will be a multi-flight program. Future flights may study a varied set of astrophysical problems, among them the physics of the cores of clusters of galaxies, and the physics of accretion, jets, and outflows in neutron stars and black holes in bright X-ray binaries.

REXIS


An X-ray Imaging Spectrometer aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission

OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer) will be the third spacecraft launched as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program. As part of the New Frontiers mission to research the solar system, OSIRIS-REx will characterize and return to Earth a sample of the near-Earth carbonaceous chondrite asteroid 1999 RQ36. The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is the tool for conducting the student collaboration experiment (SCE) on the OSIRIS-REx 1999 RQ36 sample return mission. REXIS provides a valuable scientific enhancement to the OSIRIS-REx mission by obtaining an X-ray (0.3-7.5 keV) global map of the elemental abundance of 1999 RQ36. This global X-ray map will provide complementary understanding of the globally representative returned sample, thus providing a greater understanding of the composition of 1999 RQ36.

SAFER/CMG


CMG-Based Stability for EVAs near Low-Gravity Objects

Utilizing control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) for increased stability of the simplified aid for EVA rescue (SAFER) jet pack system during extravehicular activities (EVA)