IXPE Operations Update

July 3, 2023 UPDATE: NASA confirmed its IXPE spacecraft resumed normal science operations July 1, following a successful reset on June 26.

On Saturday, June 24, NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) stopped transmitting valid telemetry data. The IXPE team could command the spacecraft and operate it in pointing mode, but the spacecraft was not returning science or engineering data.

On Monday, the team initiated a spacecraft reset to address the issue, which put IXPE into a planned safe mode. Team members confirmed Monday evening IXPE is once again transmitting valid telemetry data. They will continue to investigate the cause of the issue as they return IXPE to normal operations in the coming days.

Launched in 2021, IXPE is a space observatory built to discover the secrets of some of the most extreme cosmic objects – the remnants of supernova explosions, neutron stars, powerful particle streams ejected by feeding black holes, and more. IXPE is NASA’s first mission to study the polarization of X-rays from many different types of celestial objects. Follow the IXPE blog for further updates.