Here's How NASA's Novel X-Ray Mission Will Uncover the Secrets of the Universe
Get ready: We're about to get a closer look at some of the universe's most exciting phenomena, as NASA launched its Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer mission, or IXPE, Thursday to detect X-rays emitted by black holes and neutron stars.
In case you missed it, the new Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer spacecraft, which is planned to run for two years and collect new information on the universe's most extreme locations, is a tiny satellite that can capture X-ray images with polarization and temporal information for each photon collected.
This video by the YouTuber Scott Manley is a deep dive into the spacecraft and its launch, as in an interesting turn of events, the satellite shifted from the planned launch vehicle to a less expensive choice that no one had considered, namely, Elon Musk's Falcon 9. According to Manley, this is the first time a rocket launched from a domestic U.S. launch facility has performed such a massive plane change maneuver to achieve a target orbit. If you're curious to know more about the spacecraft and the historic launch, make sure to watch the video embedded above to learn more.
Watching NASA's spacecraft impact an asteroid was "exciting beyond words," Dr. Tom Statler told IE in an interview.