Upcoming High-Energy Astrophysics Missions

These are the missions under develpment with their projected launch date.

  • Athena [ESA, with some NASA contributions ] was selected by ESA, within the Cosmic Vision Program, as the next large X-Ray observatory to ingestigate "The Hot and Energetic Universe" scientific theme. Athena consists of a single large-aperture grazing-incidence X-ray telescope, with 12m focal length and 5 arcsec HEW on-axis angular resolution, with two interchangeable instruments at the focal plane. One, the Wide Field Imager (WFI), is a wide field imaging and spectroscopy detector with a high count-rate capability, the other, the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU), is a cryogenic X-ray spectrometer delivering spatially resolved high-resolution spectroscopy over a smaller field of view. Athena will be placed into a large amplidute halo orbit around L2 point. (To launch in early 2030's).
  • BurstCube [NASA] is a 6U CubeSat deploy in low-earth orbit from the ISS concieved to detect Gamma-ray Bursts with a payloa d similar to the Gamma Ray Burst Monitor on Fermi. BurstCube aimed to detect “Short Gamma-ray Bursts” and complement the GRB, Gravitational Wave and Binary Neutron Star mergers science. (Launch 2022)
  • enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry Mission (eXTP) [ China/E uropean Institution ]- The enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry mission (eXTP) is designed to study the state of matter under extreme conditions of density, gravity and magnetism. The mission carries four science payloads, a combination of imaging and non-imaging instruments, all together covering the energy band 0.5-50 keV. These scientific instruments enable for the first time the simultaneous spectral-timing-polarimetry studies of cosmic sources in the energy range from 0.5-30 keV. (to Launch in 2027)
  • High Energy Radiation Detection (HERD) [China] - electron and gamma-ray detection (tens of geV - 10 TeV) cosmic ray energy measurement up to PeV. Instrument to be placed onboard China’s space station (To Launch in 2027)
  • Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) [ESA/NASA] - will be the first space-based gravitational wave observatory. Selected to be ESA's third large-class mission (L3), it will address the science theme of the Gravitational Universe. LISA will consist of three spacecraft separated by 2.5 million km in a triangular formation, following Earth in its orbit around the Sun. LISA is a collaboration of ESA and NASA. (To launch in 2034)
  • Pioneer program : high energy missions " The Pioneer 2020 program selected three high energy missions:two smallsats, Aspera and StaBurst, and a balloon experiment, PUEO. (All to launch 2025/2026)
  • Space-based astronomical Variable Object Monitor (SVOM) [Sino-French GRB mission] - with a 4-150 keV coded-mask telescope, a non-imaging gamma-ray (50 keV - 5 MeV) spectrometer, an optical telescope and a microchannel X-ray (0.2 - 10 keV) telescope with a lobster-eye optic. (To Launch in 2023)
  • XL-Calibur is a balloon borne X-ray telescope to measure X-ray polarimeter in the 15-80 keV from black holes and neutron stars in our galaxy. (To launch from Kiruna, Sweden in the Spring of 2022, and McMurdo, Antarctica, in 2023)
  • X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) [JAXA/NASA with ESA participation] - a high-throughput, high-resolution spectroscopy mission, consisting of a narrow-field, high-resolution (Δ(E) ~ 5 - 7 eV) soft X-ray (E ~ 0.3 - 12 keV) spectrometer and a wider-field soft X-ray (0.5 - 12 keV) imager, i.e., similar to the SXS and SXI, respectively, flown on Hitomi (To Launch in 2023)

[All Missions] [by Time] [by Energy]

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Last modified: Wednesday, 23-Feb-2022 19:10:37 EST