NASA‘s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) will launch this week on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Initially, it was assigned to fly on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus rocket, but it was moved to SpaceX to save on launch costs. IXPE’s three identical telescopes will study the polarization of cosmic X-rays. Its mission will be to map out the magnetic fields of black holes, neutron stars, pulsars, supernova remnants, magnetars, quasars, and active galactic nuclei. The total cost of IXPE and its two-year planned mission is $188 million.
Launch Date: Thursday, December 9, 1:00 – 2:30 a.m. EST