Here's How NASA's Novel X-Ray Mission Will Uncover the Secrets of the Universe
Are you ready for it?
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.