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NASA's New Discovery Missions 

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NASA Selects Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

NASA has selected a science mission that will allow astronomers to explore, for the first time, the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars.
NASA's Astrophysics Explorers Program requested proposals for new missions in September 2014. Fourteen proposals were submitted, and three mission concepts were selected for additional review by a panel of agency and external scientists. NASA determined the IXPE proposal provided the best science potential and most feasible development plan.
The mission, slated for launch in 2020, will cost $188 million. This figure includes the cost of the launch vehicle and post-launch operations and data analysis. Principal Investigator Martin Weisskopf of NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will lead the mission. Ball Aerospace in Broomfield, Colorado, will provide the spacecraft and mission integration. The Italian Space Agency will contribute the polarization sensitive X-ray detectors, which were developed in Italy.

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