NASA will provide coverage of today’s prelaunch activities for the agency’s Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) spacecraft, targeted to lift off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 1 a.m. EST. The launch is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy.
First up today is the IXPE payload briefing, starting at 1 p.m. EST, with the following participants:
- Elisabetta Cavazzuti, ASI IXPE program manager, Italian Space Agency
- Luca Baldini, Italian co-principal investigator, National Institute for Nuclear Physics
- Brian Ramsey, deputy principal investigator, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
- MacKenzie Ferrie, IXPE program manager, Ball Aerospace
At 5:30 p.m. EST today is the IXPE prelaunch news conference, featuring the following participants:
- Sandra Connelly, deputy associate administrator for science, NASA Headquarters
- Martin Weisskopf, IXPE principal investigator, Marshall
- Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, civil space, Ball Aerospace
- Tim Dunn, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
- Julianna Scheiman, director, civil satellite missions, SpaceX
- Mike McAleenan, 45th Weather Squadron, Space Launch Delta 45
IXPE will study changes in the polarization of X-ray light through some of the universe’s most extreme sources, including black holes, dead stars known as pulsars, and more. The mission is NASA’s first dedicated to measuring X-ray polarization.
Click here to learn more about the IXPE mission.