Trazar la acreción oscurecida en la época de formación de las galaxias

Study Status and Milestones

Current status of the mission

 

On the 8th of November 2023, ESA’s Science Programme Committee endorsed a rescoped version of the Athena X-ray observatory. Industrial activities have restarted in the second quarter of 2024, aiming at adoption in 2027, and a planned launch in 2037.activities

 

Main Milestones

The Athena X-ary observatory was selected in 2014 by ESA to become the second (L2) L-class mission of its Cosmic Vision programme.

The WFI and X-IFU instruments consortia were officially endorsed by ESA in December 2018. The following milestone for the instruments teams was the Instrument Preliminary Requirements Review (IPRR) which was successfully passed by the WFI on 31 October 2018 and by the X-IFU on 11 April 2019.

Phase A of the mission ended on 12 November 2019 with the Mission Formulation Review that led to the transition to Phase B1. However, this phase was truncated in June 2022 when the Science Program Committee (SPC) of ESA agreed on a redefinition of the mission to comply with the prospective level of resources of the Science Program. This decision led to an overwhelming response from the scientific community to the public call to support the mission.

Between November 2022 and November 2023, Athena has undergone a “design-to-cost” exercise, ensuring that the total mission cost to ESA remains under a strict 1.3G€ cap. This process has been supported by the NewAthena Science Re-definition Team (SRDT).

On the 8th of November 2023, ESA’s Science Programme Committee endorsed a rescoped version of the Athena X-ray observatory. The SPC has recognized that NewAthena, as a flagship mission of the ESA Science Program, will transform our knowledge in almost every corner of modern astrophysics.

This great achievement has been the result of a year-long collective design effort by ESA, the Instrument Consortia, and the SRDT with the active participation of many members of the Athena community. This effort led to a new mission concept that is technically and financially affordable, while enabling transformational science. A key role in demonstrating the flagship nature of NewAthena has been played by the SRDT, whose co-Chair, Mike Cruise, presented the excellent science case of NewAthena to the meetings of the Advisory Structure of the ESA Science Program.

It is expected that the industrial activities will restart in the second quarter of 2024, aiming at adoption in 2027, and a planned launch in 2037.