Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) (Keith Gendreau)
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Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) (Keith Gendreau)

October 27, 2019

My name is Keith Gendreau. I’m from Goddard Space Flight Center. I’m the PI of the NICER mission of opportunity that is now in Phase A. This is the lessons learned section and I want to say that back in 2007, we submitted a proposal called NICE and we were happy to find out that there was a proposal selected into Phase A in 2007 called NICE, but it was a different NICE. So our lessons learned is that we’re going to be NICER. That’s the title of our proposed effort that got us into Phase A. I think it’s a little bit more than the name change. Our deputy PI is Zaven Arzoumanian, who is sitting back there, and then our instrument manager is Sridhar Manthripragada over here. I have two slides in between the presentations I saw earlier. We’re going to be an astrophysics experiment. We’re going to do astrophysics using the International Space Station as a platform and our astrophysics is going to be focused on some of the most interesting objects in the sky, neutron stars. These are the densest items in the universe. They are places where all four fundamental forces of nature are simultaneously important. It’s in this laboratory of extremes that we’re going to be addressing key science objectives of NASA as well as science questions posed by the National Academy. As I said, we’re going to be hosted on the International Space Station on one of the zenith pointing express logistic carriers, ELCs. We’re aiming a launch date in summer of 2016 for a minimum mission of 12 months and somewhat shy of two years for a nominal mission. We have a team that is led out of Goddard for most of the work. MIT is doing detectors and we have a science team that spans over a large number of institutions around the country and also Mexico and Canada.

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