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X-Ray Surveyor Mission Concept

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posted on 06.10.2015 by Gaskin, Jessica

An initial concept study for the X-ray Surveyor mission was carried-out by the Advanced Concept Office at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), with a strawman payload and related requirements that were provided by an Informal Mission Concept Team, comprised of MSFC and Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory (SAO) scientists plus a diverse cross-section of the X-ray community. The study included a detailed assessment of the requirements, a preliminary design, a mission analysis, and a preliminary cost estimate. The X-ray Surveyor strawman payload is comprised of a high-resolution mirror assembly and an instrument set, which may include an X-ray microcalorimeter, a high-definition imager, and a dispersive grating spectrometer and its readout. The mirror assembly will consist of highly nested, thin, grazing-incidence mirrors, for which a number of technical approaches are currently under development—including adjustable X-ray optics, differential deposition, and new polishing techniques applied to a variety of substrates. This study benefits from previous studies of large missions carried out over the past two decades, such as Con-X, AXSIO and IXO, and in most areas, points to mission requirements no more stringent than those of Chandra.

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