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Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer


Designation 49954 / 21121A
Launch date 8 Dec 2021
Country of origin United States
Mission Scientific: X-ray astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 595/610 km
Inclination 0.2°
Period 96.6 min
Launch vehicle Falcon 9 #139

For NASA with support from Ball Aerospace, the ASI, Colorado university among others

XPE carries three 0.27m space telescopes with special polarisation-sensitive detectors. Polarisation is a property of light that holds clues to the environment from which the light originates. The new mission builds on and complements the scientific discoveries of other telescopes, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA's flagship X-ray telescope.

Officially commissioned in Jan 2022.

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Technical data


Prime contractor Ball Aerospace
Platform BCP-100
Mass at launch 330 kg
Dry mass  
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime  

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