Status Report

Concepts for the Next NASA X-ray Astronomy Mission: Request for Information

By SpaceRef Editor
September 13, 2011
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Concepts for the Next NASA X-ray Astronomy Mission Solicitation number: NNH11ZDA018L

Release Date: September 13, 2011
Response Date: October 28, 2011

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program is soliciting information through this Request for Information (RFI) pertaining to potential X-Ray astronomy missions. Specifically, NASA is seeking information that can be used to develop concepts that meet some or all of the scientific objectives of the International X ray Observatory (IXO). Information being sought includes relevant mission concepts, instrument concepts, enabling technologies, or any aspect of flight, ground or launch systems architecture.

The PCOS Program Office will work with the science community to develop new X-ray astronomy mission concepts satisfying some or all of the scientific objectives listed in Table 1. Such scenarios might include one or more observatories. These scenarios will be presented to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) for consideration. Recommendations from the CAA will subsequently be used to guide detailed development of scientific, technical, and cost information for some or all of these X-Ray mission concepts. Data from these concept studies will also be used to assess future technology needs for the Astrophysics Division. Information from the technology assessment will also be provided to the CAA.

This Request for Information (RFI) is the first step in this process. Through this RFI, NASA is seeking information relevant to an X-ray astronomy mission concept or mission concepts that will satisfy some or all the scientific objectives listed in Table 1. The RFI also requests standalone instrument concepts as well as relevant key enabling technologies for such missions or instruments. Mission concepts should range in cost from ~ $300M to $2,000M in FY12 dollars.

The full text of the Dear Colleague Letter is posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at (select “Solicitations” then “Open Solicitations” then “NNH11ZDA018L”).

For further information on this RFI, please contact Jean Cottam, PCOS Chief Scientist, at You may also contact the NASA HQ PCOS program officers, Jaya Bajpayee, PCOS Program Executive, at, and Rita Sambruna, PCOS Program Scientist, at Please check for the most up to date information on the PCOS Program.

SpaceRef staff editor.