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Proceedings Paper

Generation-X: mission and technology studies for an x-ray observatory vision mission
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Paper Abstract

The new frontier in astrophysics is the study of the very first stars, galaxies and black holes in the early Universe. These objects are beyond the grasp of the current generation of X-ray telescopes such as Chandra, and so the Generation-X Vision Mission has been proposed as an X-ray observatory which will be capable of detecting these earliest objects. Xray imaging and spectroscopy of such distant objects will require an X-ray telescope with large collecting area and high angular resolution. The Generation-X concept has 100 m2 collecting area at 1 keV (1000 times larger than Chandra) and 0.1 arcsecond angular resolution (several times better than Chandra and 50 times better than the resolution goal for Constellation-X). The baseline mission involves four 8 m diameter telescopes operating at Sun-Earth L2. Such large telescopes will require either robotic or human-assisted in-flight assembly. To achieve the required effective area with launchable mass, very lightweight grazing incidence X-ray optics must be developed, having an areal density 100 times lower than in Chandra, with perhaps 0.1 mm thick mirrors requiring on-orbit figure control. The suite of available detectors for Generation-X should include a large-area high resolution imager, a cryogenic imaging spectrometer and a grating spectrometer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5488, UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems, (11 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552641
Show Author Affiliations
Robert A. Cameron, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Marshall W. Bautz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Roger J. Brissenden, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Martin S. Elvis, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Giuseppina Fabbiano, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Paul Gorenstein, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Robert Petre, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Paul B. Reid, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Daniel S. Schwartz, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Nicholas E. White, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
William W. Zhang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5488:
UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems
Guenther Hasinger; Martin J. L. Turner, Editor(s)

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