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[XTEnews]: RXTE Consortium Option

A message to RXTE Users from the RXTE Users Group:

As you likely know, NASA is presently on a fast schedule to decommission
the RXTE spacecraft by the end of the calendar year.

The Space Operations Institute (SOI) at Capitol College (see
for more information) may be able to facilitate a transition of RXTE
operations from NASA/GSFC to SOI/Capitol.

The arrangement would likely be modeled on a consortium similar to those
that operate some ground-based telescopes (SMARTS, for example).
Funding would need to come from private sources.  The idea would be that
an institutional partner would be granted some dedicated observing time,
and there would also likely be some fraction of time that is open
for proposals.

The exact details of any arrangement are still to be worked out,
however, there will be no chance of a transition unless sufficient
funding sources are identified quickly (likely by the end of November,
2011).  Very rough overall numbers are that a minimum of 4-5 partners
each contributing of order $100k would be required to move forward.

If you and your institute are potentially interested in being consortium
members, please contact Sandy Antunes <sandy.antunesATgmail.com>) at
Capitol college and John Tomsick  <jtomsickATssl.berkeley.edu>, RXTE
Users Group Chair, by Nov. 23.


Tod Strohmayer
Code 662, NASA/GSFC
Greenbelt, MD 20771