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Japan’s powerful new X-ray satellite ‘XRISM’ ready to launch on September 7

The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), a collaborative mission between JAXA and NASA, with participation by the European Space Agency, is set to launch on a H-IIA Launch Vehicle Thursday, September 7 from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.

The X-ray observatory is designed to observe the most energetic objects and events in the cosmos using high-resolution spectroscopy and high-throughput imaging, resolving the mysteries regarding the formation and evolution of the Universe.

More specifically, the spacecraft will investigate the structural formation of the cosmos and the evolution of galaxy clusters, the history of material circulation in the universe, and energy transport and circulation in the universe. The mission also aims to pioneer new scientific discoveries using ultra-high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy.

XRISM is equipped with Resolve, an X-ray microcalorimeter spectrometer instrument designed to measure tiny temperature changes and the composition of X-ray-emitting objects with great precision. By gathering thousands or even millions of X-rays from a cosmic source, the instrument can measure the high-resolution spectra of the object -measurements of light’s intensity over a range of energies.

Astronomers expect that this groundbreaking instrument, developed jointly by Japan and the United States, will shed light on fundamental questions, unravelling the intricate dance of extremely hot gases within clusters of galaxies and unravelling the mysteries behind near-light-speed particle jets fueled by black holes in active galaxies

Additionally, another instrument aboard the spacecraft, named Xtend, will image the X-rays coming from celestial objects, further enhancing the mission’s capabilities. Developed by JAXA and Japanese universities, Xtend operates in tandem with Resolve to offer complementary observations.

Also sharing a ride on this mission is JAXA’s SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) which aims to demonstrate accurate, pinpoint lunar landing and obstacle detection techniques by a lightweight probe. The data gathered by the lander will contribute to future lunar probes. Devdiscourse

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