Projects

Operating Missions

PCOS Operating Missions

Chandra Chandra X-ray Observatory
Launch date: 23 July 1999
http://chandra.harvard.edu/

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, a NASA Great Observatory, provides the most detailed view to date of the X-ray universe. With its exquisite imaging capabilities and high spectral resolution scientists have investigated phenomena as diverse as the spectra of Jupiter's aurora, the effects of dark energy on the growth of galaxy clusters, and the properties of faint x-ray sources in deep fields.

Fermi Fermi
Launch date: 11 June 2008
http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/

The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST) is providing our deepest and most detailed map of the gamma-ray sky. Fermi has recorded high-energy gamma rays produced by supernovae, pulsars, extreme flows of energy from systems powered by black holes, and gamma-ray bursts.

LISA Pathfinder/ST7 LISA Pathfinder/ST7
Launch date: 3 December 2015
http://lisapathfinder.org

LISA Pathfinder is an ESA technology test mission for the eLISA/NGO mission to search for gravitational waves generated by massive objects such as black holes. NASA is contributing one of two payloads, named ST-7.

LISA Pathfinder will pave the way for eLISA/NGO. It will test new methods of spacecraft control and determine if laser interferometry is feasible at the level of accuracy required by eLISA/NGO.

LISA Pathfinder will place two test-masses in a nearly perfect gravitational free-fall, and of controlling and measuring their motion with unprecedented accuracy. This is achieved through state-of-the-art technology comprising inertial sensors, a laser metrology system, a drag-free control system and an ultra-precise micro-propulsion system.

All these technologies are essential not only for eLISA/NGO—they also lie at the heart of any future space-based test of Einstein's General Relativity. LISA Pathfinder is scheduled for launch in 2015.

Final Launch Preparations for LISA Pathfinder: Images of Integration of LISA Pathfinder into VEGA rocket. Photo credit(s): ESA, Manuel Pedoussaut, 2015

Further information is available from ESA LISA Pathfinder News and Highlights.

XMM-Newton XMM-Newton
Launch date: 10 Dec 1999
http://xmm.esac.esa.int/

XMM-Newton, the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, is the second cornerstone of the ESA Horizon 2000 program. With high collecting area in the x-ray band, XMM provides vital information for studies of fundamental and relativistic processes from neutron stars and active galactic nuclei, the creation and dispersal of the elements in supernovae, the distribution of dark matter in clusters, groups, and elliptical galaxies, and young active stars to constrain models of the early solar system and star forming regions.

Related Operating Missions

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

NuSTAR NuSTAR
Launch date: 13 June 2012
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu/
Suzaku Suzaku
Launch date: 10 July 2005
http://suzaku.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Swift Swift
Launch date: 20 November 2004
http://swift.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Program News

29 Jan 2016
Announcing L3 (gravitational wave mission) study team membership »  [Details]
27 Jan 2016
Due date March 1 2016: PCOS White Papers on Probe Missions »  [Details]
7 Dec 2015
NASA issues a call for nominations for the L3 Study Team »  [PDF]
3 Dec 2015
Liftoff! The Lisa Pathfinder was successfully launched by ESA on December 3. »  Details

Project News

Chandra News
7 Jan 2016
NASA'S Great Observatories Weigh Massive Young Galaxy Cluster » Details
Fermi News
7 Jan 2016
NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Sharpens its High-energy Vision » Details
Planck News
31 Mar 2015
Herschel and Planck find missing clue to galaxy cluster formation
» Details
XMM-Newton News
14 Jan 2016
Milky Way Twin Swept by an Ultra-fast X-ray Wind » Details

Related News

NuSTAR News
5 Jan 2016
Andromeda Galaxy Scanned with High-Energy X-ray Vision » Details
Suzaku News
26 Aug 2015
X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Suzaku" Completes Scientific Mission » Details
Swift News
6 Nov 2015
NASA's Swift Spots its Thousandth Gamma-ray Burst » Details