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Observatory Overview

Artists conception of the IXO spacecraft

Artists conception of the IXO spacecraft. Credit: NASA. Click the image for a larger view

IXO flyby animation »

IXO builds on three decades of successful X-ray telescope development, including the currently operating Chandra X-ray Observatory (NASA) and XMM-Newton mission (ESA).

The IXO mission study produced a spacecraft configuration that features a single large X-ray mirror assembly and an extendible optical bench with a focal length of ~20 m, and a suite of focal plane instruments. Areas of technology development include X-ray optics, detectors and cooling systems. IXO is planned to have a mass around 6600 kg and be approximately 10 meters long and 4 meters in diameter in its launch configuration. It will fly on either an Atlas V or an Ariane V rocket into an L2 halo orbit.

For more information on the IXO mission and complement of instruments, please, use the links in the side menu.

Selected References

esa jaxa nasa logos esa home page jaxa home page nasa home page