In DepthSpace Science

China hones plans for ambitious x-ray probe

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Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1085
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6380.1085

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Summary

China is raising the stakes in its bid to become a major player in space science. At a kick-off meeting in Beijing last week, China's National Space Science Center began detailed design studies for a satellite that would round out an array of orbiting platforms for probing x-rays from the most violent corners of the cosmos. The enhanced X-Ray Timing and Polarimetry (eXTP) mission would be China's most ambitious space science satellite yet—and its most expensive, with an estimated price tag of $473 million. To pull it off, China is assembling a collaboration involving more than 200 scientists so far from dozens of institutions in 20 countries. If the eXTP mission passes a final review next year, it would launch around 2025.

  • * With reporting by Daniel Clery.