Micro-X Rocket

A versitile rocket paylod

Micro-X is a NASA-funded sounding rocket program that had its first launch in July 2018 and its second launch in August 2022. The payload is an X-ray imaging spectrometer, consisting of an X-ray grazing-incidence optic, an optical bench, a cryogenic detector, and associated electronics. The 128 pixel TES-based microcalorimeter array has 4-10 eV FWHM energy resolution at 1 keV. This superior energy resolution allows Micro-X to take unprecedented spectra of various astronomical objects. The second launch of the Micro-X Rocket on August 21, 2022, successfully imaged X-ray emission from the Cas-A supernova remnant.

A possible future flight would reconfigure Micro-X to perform wide (40° diameter) FOV observations without a mirror, which will allow Micro-X to observe a significant fraction of the dark matter in the Milky Way. Micro-X could see X-ray emission from dark matter if it is composed of particles that decay or de-excite emitting X-ray photons, such as sterile neutrinos. You can follow the progress of the Micro-X paylod in our Micro-X Instagram page.

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