Astro-H is the latest in the X-ray astronomy collaboration between the Japanese space agency, JAXA, and NASA. Astro-H is the sixth X-ray observatory that JAXA has developed, and is the fourth that has had NASA participation. Astro-H will explore the extreme universe that is abundant with high energy phenomena around black holes and supernova explosions, and observe a cluster of galaxies filled with high-temperature plasma.
The moment the microcalorimeter on Suzaku lost its coolant, the XRS team at Goddard began to develop plans to deploy a new calorimeter on another satellite. The opportunity came when JAXA announced their next X-ray satellite, which was first called NeXT (for New exploration X-ray Telescope), later renamed to Astro-H to align with their astronomy satellite series. The NASA/Goddard team wrote a proposal to include their microcalorimeter on this new JAXA satellite, which NASA accepted in 2008. Thus, continuing of collaboration between NASA and JAXA. Astro-H, complete with the microcalorimeter detector, called the Soft X-ray Spectrometer, is targeted to launch in 2015.
Learn more about Astro-H using the links below or in the sidebar.
- Read a brief overview of the Astro-H mission
- Astro-H will observe the hot, violent universe of supernovae, active galaxies and galaxy clusters.
- The instrument suite aboard Astro-H will be able to observe a wide range of the X-ray and “soft” gamma-ray spectra.
- Find out about the latest developments on this up-and-coming mission.