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The Case for Probe-class NASA Astrophysics Missions

Elvis, Martin and Arenberg, Jon and Ballantyne, David and Bautz, Mark and Beichman, Charles and Booth, Jeffrey and Buckley, James and Burns, Jack O. and Camp, Jordan and Conti, Alberto and Cooray, Asantha and Danchi, William and Delabrouille, Jacques and De Zotti, Gianfranco and Flauger, Raphael and Glenn, Jason and Grindlay, Jonathan and Hanany, Shaul and Hartmann, Dieter and Helou, George and Herranz, Diego and Hubmayr, Johannes and Johnson, Bradley R. and Jones, William and Kasdin, N. Jeremy and Kouvoliotou, Chryssa and Kunze, Kerstin E. and Lawrence, Charles and Lazio, Joseph and Lipscy, Sarah and Lillie, Charles F. and Maccarone, Tom and Madsen, Kristin C. and Mushotzky, Richard and Olinto, Angela and Plavchan, Peter and Pogosian, Levon and Ptak, Andrew and Ray, Paul and Rocha, Graca M. and Scowen, Paul and Seager, Sara and Tinto, Massimo and Tomsick, John and Tucker, Gregory S. and Ulmer, Mel and Wang, Yun and Wollack, Edward J. (2020) The Case for Probe-class NASA Astrophysics Missions. Astro2020 APC White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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Astrophysics spans an enormous range of questions on scales from individual planets to the entire cosmos. To address the richness of 21st century astrophysics requires a corresponding richness of telescopes spanning all bands and all messengers. Much scientific benefit comes from having the multi-wavelength capability available at the same time. Most of these bands,or measurement sensitivities, require space-based missions. Historically, NASA has addressed this need for breadth with a small number of flagship-class missions and a larger number of Explorer missions. While the Explorer program continues to flourish, there is a large gap between Explorers and strategic missions. A fortunate combination of new astrophysics technologies with new, high capacity, low dollar-per-kg to orbit launchers, and new satellite buses allow for cheaper missions with capabilities approaching strategic mission levels. NASA has recognized these developments by calling for Probe-class mission ideas for mission studies, spanning most of the electromagnetic spectrum from GeV gamma-rays to the far infrared, and the new messengers of neutrinos and ultra-high energy cosmic rays. The key insight from the Probes exercise is that order-of-magnitude advances in science performance metrics are possible across the board for initial total cost estimates in the range 500M-1B dollars.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ballantyne, David0000-0001-8128-6976
Beichman, Charles0000-0002-5627-5471
Cooray, Asantha0000-0002-3892-0190
De Zotti, Gianfranco0000-0003-2868-2595
Glenn, Jason0000-0001-7527-2017
Grindlay, Jonathan0000-0002-1323-5314
Helou, George0000-0003-3367-3415
Lazio, Joseph0000-0002-3873-5497
Madsen, Kristin C.0000-0003-1252-4891
Mushotzky, Richard0000-0002-7962-5446
Plavchan, Peter0000-0002-8864-1667
Ptak, Andrew0000-0001-5655-1440
Ray, Paul0000-0002-5297-5278
Rocha, Graca M.0000-0002-4150-8076
Seager, Sara0000-0002-6892-6948
Tinto, Massimo0000-0002-8107-5148
Tomsick, John0000-0001-5506-9855
Tucker, Gregory S.0000-0002-6954-6947
Wollack, Edward J.0000-0002-7567-4451
Series Name:Astro2020 APC White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200604-151409625
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103702
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Jun 2020 14:19
Last Modified:08 Jun 2020 14:19

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