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** Space: Ixpe ready for takeoff, 9 Asi-Nasa joint launch mission **

Rome, 3 December. Ixpe is ready to boot. The science goals of the joint NASA and ASI mission refer to studies based on X-ray polarization. Ixpe – Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer will depart from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on December 9 at 7 a.m. Italian time. The mission was selected by NASA on January 3, 2017 as part of the SMEX – Small Explorer space program. The satellite will be launched aboard Space X’s Falcon 9 carrier and will have a circular orbit at an altitude of 540 km and a 0 degree inclination. The commissioning phase will begin on launch day and will end on January 9, while the first calibration monitoring is scheduled for January 10, 2022. Ixpe will for the first time make highly sensitive polarization measurements from celestial X-ray sources such as pulsars, magnetospheres, black holes and supernova remnants, illustrated That was during the pre-launch press conference held this morning, in hybrid mode, at ASI headquarters and attended by the heads of the three research bodies involved in the mission: Giorgio Sacuccia of ASI Marco Tavani of INAF and Antonio Zucoli of Infn who gave an overview of the mission.

The satellite will contain three telescopes with detectors based on the innovative technology of gas pixel (Gpd) detectors designed and developed by Infn and Inaf with funding from the Italian Space Agency. Furthermore, ASI will provide its two hubs: the Space Science Data Center and the “Luigi Broglio” Space Center, respectively for processing scientific analyzes and receiving data. Other partners for the mission are the University of Rome 3, participating in the scientific part, and Ohb, the industrial partner who supplied the detector service unit, filter and calibration wheels, high voltage panels, and the detection unit assembly. The task is a major challenge because it was emphasized during the conference at ASI, the detectors, true technological gems, were made in record time, only three years, thanks to the synergy between the research bodies and the industries involved.

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During today’s conference, Barbara Negri, Director of Human Flight and Scientific Instruments at Asi, highlighted the Italian Space Agency’s role with Emma Donnarumma, Ixpe Project Scientist at Asi. On the other hand, the science of Ixpe was narrated by Paolo Sovita, the Italian principal researcher at INAF, and Luca Baldini, the Italian co-principal researcher at Infn. Finally, the industrial role was underlined by Paolo Lorenzi, Head of Previous Developments for Scientific Instruments at Ohb Italia. ASI noted that developing the mission is a major challenge: the detectors, and real jewelry, were made in record time, just three years, thanks to the synergy between research bodies and the industries involved.

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