HEAD High Energy Astrophysics Division

4. Joint JAXA/NASA Astro-H Mission
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Richard Kelley (NASA/GSFC)

The joint JAXA/NASA Astro-H mission is now well underway in Japan and at supporting institutions throughout the world. A proto-type version of the spacecraft has been assembled and completed thermal testing in October 2012. Similarly, the engineering model version of the Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (SXS) is nearing completion and will undergo vibration tests in November. The flight model components are also under development, and many have been completed. The detector assembly, which has the 36-channel microcalorimeter array, has been tested and is now undergoing calibration. The combined energy resolution of the array is 4.7 eV. The first of two x-ray mirrors is also complete and in preparation for vibration tests, performance testing, and calibration, and the second mirror is being assembled. One of the optics will be used for the SXS and the other for the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) being built by several institutions in Japan. A final decision on which mirror will be used for the SXS and SXI will be made following mirror completion and performance testing. Planning for the US GO program is nearing completion of the formulation phase and will ramp up significantly this year. Launch is currently planned for 2014.

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