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The Constellation X-ray mission: exploring the mysteries of matter in the universe

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2 Author(s)
Grady, J.F. ; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Gadwal, G.R.

The Constellation-X, a premier observatory for probing black holes and investigating the structure of the Universe, is planned for launch in late 2008. This observatory will consist of a constellation of identical space based X-ray telescopes, with a large total collecting area and sensitivity one hundred times previous missions. The current Reference Mission Configuration consists of four satellites, which are launched, two at a time, into operational orbit at the Sun-Earth libration point, L2. Development is currently underway to demonstrate several mission critical technologies including: large lightweight grazing incidence X-ray optics, improved X-ray detectors (microcalorimeters, CCDs and CdZnTe detectors) with sensitivities from 0.25 to 40 kiloelectron volts (keV), sub-Kelvin coolers for detectors, lightweight mass producible reflection gratings, and multi-layer coatings for X-rays up to 40 keV

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Aerospace Conference, 2001, IEEE Proceedings.  (Volume:7 )

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