Hitomi: The Return

The X-ray satellite Hitomi was designed to study the hot and energetic universe, with unprecedented accuracy. The satellite was launched on February 17, 2017. Unfortunately, about a month later, JAXA the Japanese space agency lost contact with the satellite due to a basic engineering error that caused the destruction of the satellite. Although, Hitomi operated only for about a month, it provided astronomers with useful data about the Perseus cluster and the Crab pulsar.

In July there were rumours that JAXA planned to build a successor mission, but this required the approval of NASA since the American space agency had built the main instrument of Hitomi. Now it seems that the two space agencies have agreed to move ahead with a smaller-scale X-ray astronomy satellite to replace the failed Hitomi observatory. The X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM), as it was named, could launch as soon as March 2021. The new satellite will not have the observing range of Hitomi that carried four scientific instruments, sensitive to a range of X-ray wavelengths and gamma rays. Instead XARM will carry two lower energy instruments.

JAXA will set up a project team and select a manufacturer for the XARM spacecraft within one year.

Source: astronomynow.com