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NASA’s New Mission: UVEX to Study Ultraviolet Sky, Stars, and Stellar Explosions.


This image shows the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097, as seen by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Embarking on a journey to explore the vast realms of space, NASA is gearing up for a groundbreaking mission with UVEX (UltraViolet EXplorer), a space telescope slated to launch in 2030. This mission, designated as NASA’s next Astrophysics Medium-Class Explorer, will conduct an unprecedented all-sky survey, providing invaluable insights into the evolution of galaxies and stars. UVEX’s versatility extends to swiftly targeting sources of ultraviolet light, allowing it to capture post-gravitational wave burst explosions resulting from merging neutron stars.


Equipped with an ultraviolet spectrograph, the telescope will also delve into the study of stellar explosions and massive stars, offering a comprehensive understanding of dynamic events shaping our ever-changing universe. Nicola Fox, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, anticipates that UVEX will play a pivotal role in unraveling the mysteries of nearby and distant galaxies, ushering in a new era of cosmic exploration through its wealth of survey data.


The UVEX (UltraViolet EXplorer) telescope’s ultraviolet survey is poised to complement data from other wide-survey missions in this decade, including the Euclid mission led by ESA (European Space Agency) with NASA contributions and NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, scheduled to launch by May 2027. Collaboratively, these missions will craft a modern, multi-wavelength map of the universe, providing a comprehensive understanding of cosmic phenomena.


Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters, highlighted the significance of the UVEX mission, emphasizing its contribution to creating a lasting legacy archive of data. This innovative telescope will enhance our comprehension of the universe across multiple wavelengths, addressing a crucial priority in Astrophysics – the study of fleeting changes in the cosmos.


Following a meticulous review of proposals, NASA selected the UVEX Medium-Class Explorer concept for development. This decision was based on evaluations by a panel of scientists and engineers, considering NASA’s current astrophysics portfolio and available resources. The UVEX mission, set for a two-year duration, is estimated to cost approximately $300 million, excluding launch expenses.


The principal investigator for the UVEX mission is Fiona Harrison at Caltech in Pasadena, California, with collaboration from institutions such as the University of California at Berkeley, Northrop Grumman, and Space Dynamics Laboratory. As part of the Explorers Program, NASA’s oldest continuous program, UVEX aims to provide cost-effective access to space for principal investigator-led space science investigations relevant to astrophysics and heliophysics programs.


Since the launch of Explorer 1 in 1958, the program has successfully launched over 90 missions, including groundbreaking endeavors like Uhuru and the Cosmic Background Explorer missions, both contributing to Nobel prizes for their investigators. Managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for the Science Mission Directorate, the Explorers Program continues to foster a wide range of research and scientific exploration programs encompassing Earth studies, space weather, the solar system, and the universe.

Surendra Uikey

My name is Surendra Uikey, I am a science blogger, I have been blogging for the past three years, because I love to write, especially on astronomy, and I believe, if you want to learn something, then start learning others, By this it will be, that you learn things in a better way. In 2019, I started infinitycosmos.in, the aim of making infinitycosmos.in was to connect astronomy in simple words to common people.

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