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IXPE Operations Update

Artist Rendering of IXPE in Space

Editor’s Note, April 3, 2024: IXPE resumed normal science operations on April 3. Learn more https://blogs.nasa.gov/ixpe/2024/04/03/ixpe-operations-update-2/.

On March 23, NASA’s IXPE (Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer) stopped transmitting valid telemetry data. The only previous interruption of IXPE science observations was due to a similar issue in June of 2023.

On March 26, using procedures developed following that previous interruption, the team initiated a spacecraft avionics reset to address the issue, which put IXPE into a planned safe mode. The team has confirmed that IXPE is once again transmitting valid telemetry data and is now working to resume science operations, in as rapid and safe a manner as possible. The spacecraft is in good health.

Launched in 2021, IXPE is a space observatory built to discover the secrets of some of the most extreme cosmic objects – the remnants of supernova explosions, neutron stars, powerful particle streams ejected by feeding black holes, and more. The observatory is NASA’s first mission to study the polarization of X-rays from many different types of celestial objects. Follow the IXPE blog for further updates.