Chandra X-ray Observatory
Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been
NASA's flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in NASA's fleet
of "Great Observatories". The scientific and mission operations for Chandra are conducted by
the Chandra X-ray Center
(CXC) housed within the HEA Division.
Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) investigation is a part of the
Solar Dynamics Observatory mission that is the lead mission of the NASA
Living With a Star program. The goal of the AIA investigation is to
further our understanding of the magnetic activity in the Sun's
atmosphere, leading towards a better capability for predicting space
Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph
The primary goal of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS)
explorer is to understand how the solar atmosphere is energized. The IRIS
investigation combines advanced numerical modeling with a high resolution
UV imaging spectrograph.
Square Meter Arcsecond Resolution X-ray Telescope
with Chandra¢s angular resolution, 0.5 but bigger, lighter, better
with a factor of 30 more effective area.
International X-Ray Observatory
The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) is a new X-ray telescope with joint participation from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). This project supersedes both NASA's Constellation-X and ESA's XEUS mission concepts.
The Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope (EXIST) is a proposed
hard X-ray deep survey mission that would image the entire sky during each
95-minute orbit. EXIST's primary objective is to study the birth and
evolution of black holes on all size scales with a temporal range from
microseconds to years.
With image quality comparable to that of HST and collecting area 1000 times that of Chandra, the proposed X-ray observatory Gen-X will observe the first generation of black holes, stars, and galaxies and trace their evolution to the present epoch.
By slewing around to catch the bright but fleeting X-ray emission of
Gamma-ray bursts, Pharos will 'X-ray the Universe' by capturing
high resolution X-ray spectra of the web of hot tenuous gas
pervading intergalactic space.
The X-ray astronomy team at American Science and Engineering, which later became the nucleus of the CfA's HEA group, discovered the
first extrasolar X-ray source in 1962 using a sounding rocket. During the 1960s and 1970s, suborbital sounding rockets were
the pioneering instruments used to study the X-ray sky until they were superseded by longer-lived orbiting observatories.
Uhuru was the first successful orbital X-ray astronomy mission. Small Astronomical
Satellite A became Explorer 42 after launch from the San Marco platform off
the Kenyan coast on 1970 Dec 12, and was also given the Swahili name Uhuru
in commemoration of the launch site. Uhuru carried out a 2-10 keV sky survey,
generating successively improved X-ray source catalogs culminating in
the 4U (4th Uhuru) catalog.
The Einstein Observatory was the first orbiting X-ray observatory to use an imaging telescope for making pictures of extrasolar X-ray
HEA has provided instrumentation to numerous satellite missions.