Invited Talk - Splinter NewAthena
Thursday, 14 September 2023, 14:00 (H 3025)
NewAthena mission status
European Space Agency
"NewAthena" is the provisional name of the latest incarnation of the Large-Class X-ray observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA), to be launched in the second half of the 2030s. After the premature demise of Athena - deemed to be too expensive for the current level of resources of the ESA Science Program - NewAthena constitutes an innovative mission design concept with a science instrument module open to space. Such an architecture enables the simplification of the scientific payload due to a 50K interface to the cryostat of the X-IFU (X-Ray Integral Field Unit) micro-calorimeter. NewAthena can therefore retain most of the scientific performance of the X-IFU as well as of the Wide Field Imager. The two instruments will share the focal plane of the traditional Silicon Pore Optics mirror, the largest telescope ever conceived on an approved X-ray mission. The Science Reformulation Team (SRDT) - appointed by ESA to revise the science case of the mission - is convincingly demonstrating that most of the original Athena science objectives in the "Hot Universe", "Energetic Universe" and "Observatory Science" themes will be addressed by New Athena. The NewAthena industrial Phase A may start at the beginning of 2024 - pending endorsement by the Science Program Committee -, leading to the commencement of the 9-year implementation about 3 years afterwards.