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The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Mission

Presentation #246.01 in the session Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer: Initial results.

Published onJun 29, 2022
The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Mission

Launched on Dec 9, 2021, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) is a NASA small explorer mission that is opening a new window of investigation – imaging x-ray polarimetry. A partnership with the Italian Space Agency, the IXPE Observatory features three identical x-ray telescopes each comprised of a mirror module assembly with a polarization-sensitive x-ray detector at its focus. The payload is mounted on a three-axis stabilized spacecraft that provides power and telemetry and enables few arcsecond-level pointing. From its equatorial orbit, IXPE downloads data approximately seven times a day to a ground-station in Malindi, Kenya. From there the data travels through a gateway in Italy to the mission operations center in Boulder, Colorado and then to the science operation center in Huntsville, Alabama. During its 2-year baseline mission phase, IXPE is performing polarimetry for samples of multiple categories of x-ray sources with follow-on observations of selected targets.

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